This column assumes that ETFs are the primary investment tool for the reader.

Please see my weekly market summation for a review of the macro-economic environment and general macro-level market trends.

Investment thesis: the macro-averages are now in a bullish posture; it’s a good time to take a new position. But be careful; defensive sectors are starting to rise, indicating traders are a bit more cautious.

Let’s start by looking at last week’s market activity, beginning with the treasury market:

TLT 5-day

The treasury market moved lower on Monday and then traded sideways for the rest of the week. Volatility was higher on late Tuesday and Wednesday as the market digested the whipsaw activity regarding additional fiscal measures. Also note the sharp sell-off and subsequent rally on Friday, likely due to additional fiscal talk.

SPY 5-day

SPY trended higher for the entire week as shown by the central tendency line in blue. t took the index an entire day to recover from Tuesday’s sell-off, but it did recover.

IWM 5-minute

I noted in my weekly round-up that smaller-caps led the market higher this week. Notice that IWM had a very strong move higher earlier in the week. This explains why small caps did so well last week.

Let’s pull the lens back to the 2-week time frame:

IEF 2-week

During the last two weeks, the treasury market has clearly trended lower, as shown by the 200-minute EMA (in magenta). The ETF has gapped lower twice and then consolidated sideways.

QQQ 2-week

While larger caps are higher, their respective charts are messier. QQQ – which has led the markets higher for most of the post-lockdown rally – is struggling. It’s also been prone to sharper, higher-volume sell-offs.

IJH 2-week

In contrast, smaller caps have stronger charts. Mid-caps have a solid uptrend

Jockey John Velazquez riding Authentic gallops to the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

In a matter of hours, the Preakness Stakes will bring down the curtain on the 2020 Triple Crown season.

Race organizers were probably bemoaning their bad luck as the Kentucky Derby unfolded. Authentic not only derailed Tiz the Law’s Triple Crown quest but also gave the Belmont Stakes winner little reason to make the trip to Baltimore.

Tiz the Law isn’t running in the Preakness, with his team instead focusing on the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. That leaves Authentic as the clear favorite in the 11-horse field.

                       

Post Positions

  • 1. Excession (30-1)
  • 2. Mr. Big News (12-1)
  • 3. Art Collector (5-2)
  • 4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
  • 5. Thousand Words (6-1)
  • 6. Jesus’ Team (30-1)
  • 7. Ny Traffic (15-1)
  • 8. Max Player (15-1)
  • 9. Authentic (9-5)
  • 10. Pneumatic (20-1)
  • 11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1)

Odds courtesy of the Preakness Stakes.

                  

Race Predictions

  • Win: Authentic ($900,000)
  • Place: Ny Traffic ($300,000)
  • Show: Thousand Words ($165,000)

           

As the odds illustrate, Authentic and Art Collector are commanding the lion’s share of attention heading into the race.

In addition to his Derby triumph , Authentic reeled off victories in the Sham, San Felipe and Haskell Stakes while running second to Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby. Art Collector took first place in both of his graded stakes events this year (Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby).

If recent history is any indicator, though, the likelihood of those two going first and second is slim.

The length of the race is likely one reason for

By John Kemp

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters)Hedge funds trimmed bearish positions in crude oil last week after Saudi Arabia threatened to punish short sellers and on signs that prices had found a floor after recent weakness.

Hedge funds and other money managers purchased the equivalent of 40 million barrels in the six most important petroleum futures and options contracts in the week to Sept. 22.

Purchases occurred at the fastest rate since late April, according to position records published by ICE Futures Europe and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

But buying was concentrated in crude rather than refined products, and involved buying back previous short positions rather than opening new long ones.

Portfolio managers purchased mainly Brent (+23 million barrels) and NYMEX and ICE WTI (+18 million), with smaller purchases in U.S. gasoline (+2 million) and European gasoil (+3 million) and sales of U.S. diesel (-5 million).

On the crude side, funds repurchased 37 million barrels of previous short sales while opening just 3 million barrels of new bullish long positions.

Across all six petroleum contracts, total short positions fell to 340 million barrels, from a two-year high of 379 million the week before, but still up from 223 million a month ago (https://tmsnrt.rs/339TpLq).

The pattern is consistent with funds becoming less bearish rather than more bullish, de-risking their portfolios rather than adding more price exposure.

It came after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister threatened to leave short sellers “ouching” a few days earlier, and amid signs oil prices were stabilising after the recent sell-off, despite a drumbeat of negative economic news.

Calendar spreads for both physical Brent and Brent futures have also rebounded modestly after previous weakness, indicating traders see a more balanced market in the next few months.

Before last week’s short-covering, the market was

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I love ravens …