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December 2015 Editors Comments

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Physical Commodities

Have commodity indices made a bottom?

The old CRB (found at stockcharts.com click on Free Charts, then type $CRB into the box for Create a SharpChart made a small double bottom just above 185 in August after a severe final liquidation(?) leg had created oversold conditions with divergences on weekly indicators.  Since then it has been stabilizing.

How?  Did metals make a major low in a seasonal low time frame?  Led by platinum, gold and silver tend to rally into the new year and beyond.  The industry has usually built inventories of copper from mid November into spring for the upcoming construction season.

Corn and soybeans typically enjoy a post-harvest rally, even when supplies are large.  Wheat tends to decline, but there are concerns over dry conditions in North America, Ukraine, and Russia.

Crude oil and its products appear to have made a low, despite continued media discussion of heavy supplies and global overproduction.  The nearly expired natural gas contract dropped briefly below $2 - and immediately reversed.  From a bottom?

In the face of debt and fear of deflation, central banks continue their "accommodative" monetary policies.  Will too much money ultimately win out?

I don't know, but I for one would be ready to ...

Trade 'em,

Jerry Toepke



Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2015 10:29
 

November 2015 Editors Comments

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There are those who may tire of watching the CRB Index of commodities.  It has, after all, been a long and dispiriting 4-year bear market since the all-time highs in 2011.  $1900 gold, $50 silver, $8 corn, $18 soybeans, $2 cotton, $3 coffee, $100 crude oil -  all seem long ago.

Now we hear of surplus supply, lack of demand, China's slowdown, deflation.  The head of the IMF speaks of years of low commodity prices ahead.  The FED is so concerned that it fears lifting interest rates from 0!  Central banks around the world print money and get only lower inflation.  Oh, the humanity!  Will commodities go to 0?

Or are we already at 0?

Euphoria at the top.  Despair at the bottom.

Follow the CRB Index at stockcharts.com.  Click on Free Charts and type in $CRB.

Why is it important?  If the CRB is in an uptrend, one's trading bias to most components would logically be bullish.  And vice-versa.  Even a seasonal trader needs to adjust.  If the overall trading environment is
bullish, seasonal lows will often appear earlier than normal, seasonal rallies may last longer, seasonal tops arrive late, and seasonal declines abort early.

I don't know, but I for one would be ready to ...

Trade 'em,

Jerry Toepke
Last Updated on Friday, 02 October 2015 09:02
 

October 2015 Editors Comments

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Physical Commodities

Last month your editor opined that, for physical commodities and the CRB Index (which can be found at stockcharts.com by following the link to Free Charts and then typing into the box $CRB), enough is enough!  And it was almost.

The CRB's decline had merely stalled briefly at that just above 200.  But, no, August forced commodities even lower, with the Index plunging to 185.13 in August and that from 233 just last May.  In the next two days, it posted another nearly identical low.

But then oh, my!  The last three days of August were spectacular for CRB bulls, sporting three marching soldiers in candlestick charting terms (opening on or near its low of the day, with a big wide range, and then closing on or near its high).  In doing so, it
posted an outside reversal week!

Apparently driving it were two of the most beaten down, in-the-news markets crude oil and copper, both of which also posted outside weekly reversals.  Now, were they simply painting the tape?  Was it simply a 10% correction (up to 202)?  Or do these old-fashioned chart formations still mean something in this day of algorithmic, computer-driven markets?

I don't know, but I for one would be ready to ...

Trade 'em,

Jerry Toepke

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 08:06
 

September 2015 Editors Comments

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Physical Commodities

All right! Enough is enough!

The CRB Index fell to just below 200 on the first day of August. That is down from above 313 in June 2014 a loss of more than 36% in 13 months and a day, a spillover from a Fibonacci month count (sorry to be somewhat esoteric).

Is that not a bit overly over-done? Is it not time at least to revert to the mean? At 200, this market is extremely stretched from not only its 200-day moving average (dma) at 230 but also its 50-day at 218. It has now fallen completely below its lower weekly Bollinger Band. Potential divergences are appearing in weekly indicators such as stochastics and MACD.

Could several markets be ready to set intermediate lows? Crude oil has now suffered seven consecutive lower weekly closes. Commercials in the gold market (according to Commitment of Traders reports) are approaching an almost unheard of net long position. The grains and soy complex surged out of possibly significant lows only to be pounded back down but perhaps only to retest their breakout points.

How long can the stock market stay afloat? What about the US dollar? Will China recover and begin buying again? I don't know, but I for one would be ready to ...

Trade 'em,

Jerry Toepke

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 11:18
 

August 2015 Editors Comments

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Physical Commodities


Dull, lifeless, ignored or choppy, volatile, violent?

Looking at the CRB Index (at stockcharts.com type $CRB into the box that appears after clicking on Free Charts), one could be forgiven for thinking that commodities were either or alternately both.

After plummeting from 313 down ultimately to 207 in March, the Index rose to 234 in May.  It then fell back but only to 219.  The question then became whether that was  the right shoulder of a potential head-and-shoulders bottom?

It does have potential.  The daily chart suggests a breakout above 238 which would coincide with a close above the 200-day moving average (dma) would project a measured move to about 270, about 20% above the July 1 close of 224.  Unfortunately, the Index has been stuck between 234 and 219 since late May, during which time it has swung up and down in a sometimes violent manner.

On June 30, it powered above its 50-dma in an impressive candlestick bar driven by sharply higher grain prices and looking as if it had broken out of a traingle forming the right shoulder.  But on July 1, it opened and spent almost all day below that 50-dma.

Whither thou goest, CRB?

I don't know, but I for one would be ready to ...


Trade 'em,


Jerry Toepke
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2015 09:32
 


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