Don’t Worry, The President Is Buying… [Dirty Dozen]

The Extended Disorder Family (or Cluster): (i) uncertainty, (ii) variability, (iii) imperfect, incomplete knowledge, (iv) chance, (v) chaos, (vi) volatility, (vii) disorder, (viii) entropy, (ix) time, (x) the unknown, (xi) randomness, (xii) turmoil, (xiii) stressor, (xiv) error, (xv) dispersion of outcomes, (xvi) unknowledge. ~  Nassim Taleb, “Anti-Fragile”

In this week’s Dirty Dozen [CHART PACK], we cover a SPX that’s set to consolidate/retrace, bonds breaking down, presidential cycle stats, HF positioning, China’s mutant economy, bullish sugar, bearish silver, and more… 

**Note: This is an important month for our team. We’re currently implementing a number of strategic adjustments to better prepare our portfolio for what we expect will be a roller coaster of a ride in 23’. 

2022 was a tough year in markets for many. And though we managed to sidestep the selloff and end the year up a little over 10%, we know it’s not the time to get complacent. We’re in the middle of a major macro shift that’ll provide incredible opportunities to those willing to evolve their approach, while hurting those who don’t.

This week we’ll be giving you a look at the new tools our team is using to make our global macro strategy both more profitable and efficient. Here’s a few examples of what these tools can do to help you better position your portfolio for 2023: 

  • Automatically classify any market into 1 of 5 regimes based on direction and volatility, so you know where to find the best trades
  • Instantly evaluate market breadth at a micro and macro scale to uncover false trends
  • Pinpoint the next commodity that’s ready to start a long-term bullish run

These tools are exclusively available to members of our Collective, but this week we’ll be walking you through how we’re using them to navigate the year ahead. 

If you’d like to take advantage of our new tools and make sure your portfolio benefits from a global macro strategy this year, then become a member of the Macro Ops Collective.

Enrollment kicks off today and runs until Sunday, Feb 12th. 

You can learn more about the Collective and what it can do for your investing, here.***

  1. SPX is short-term overextended and at resistance (it’s upper weekly Bollinger Band + a significant monthly level that has rejected price since last Spring). We have conviction that it will punch through this time, but we’ll likely see a small pullback or consolidation first, so expect some chop and vol this week. 


  1. Key to watch: Momentum and short-term breadth indicators such as those below. These collectively signaled failed bullish breakouts on each of the last market advances over the past year. They are strong for now, but we’ll have to see how they hold up in the week ahead.  

  1. Reminder: Hedge fund positioning remains very light. As the US economy continues to surprise to the upside over the next few months, we’ll see this chart trend up as they chase prices higher = bull fuel. 


  1. Jeremy Grantham of GMO fame commenting on the Presidential Cycle via this report (emphasis by me): 

“There are some complicating factors that seem quite likely to drag this bear market out. Let’s start with that irritating factor, the Presidential Cycle, so simple sounding that no one in the fee-charging business can afford to be associated with it. And that is presumably why it continues to work. The important fact here is that for 7 months of the Presidential Cycle, from October 1st of the second year (this cycle, 2022) through April 30th of the third year (2023), the returns, since 1932, equal those of the remaining 41 months of the cycle! This has a less than one-in-a-million probability of occurring by chance, pretty remarkably, and it has been about as powerful in the last 45 years as the previous 45 years. We are now in this sweet spot, which once again is up nicely so far.”


  1. Adam Tooze’s substack is one of my favorite regular chart-heavy reads. I highly recommend signing up. His latest (link here) focuses on China’s real estate and investment heavy economy, a topic we’ve covered extensively over the years. 

Here’s the impact of real estate on GDP by country. 


  1. Here’s a few things that stood out to me from his piece: 

According to the IMF “China’s residential housing sales averaged 1.5-1.6 billion square meters per year from 2018-2021, about 30-50 percent higher than estimated annual demand for the next few years based on demographic and housing stock factors.” 

“The latest estimates by Rogoff and Yang 2022 suggest that real estate development, directly and indirectly, has driven 25 percent of total economic activity in China.

“On the basis of census data, Rogoff and Yang estimate that 43 percent of all homes in China had been built since 2010, 68 percent since 2000 and 88 percent since 1990. If you put this in relation to total population it implies that in a single generation, China has built enough homes to house a billion people.”

  1. Dec 23’ Eurodollars are breaking down from a 5-month compression zone. Compression zones lead to expansionary regimes (trends). We believe this trend is down (yields up). 


  1. Our Commodities dashboard gives us a quick look at notable extremes in positioning, changes in that positioning, price moves, as well as market SQN regime. Some standouts: Specs very short lumber, wheat, crude oil, natural gas. And they’re very long Soybean Meal and Orange Juice. Interestingly, Net Specs have started dramatically cutting their short positioning in natty over the past two weeks, which is typically what leads to a bottom.

Lastly, sugar is very overbought across multiple timeframes, as is orange juice. 


  1. I pitched the bull setup in sugar (ETF alternative: CANE) in these pages back at the start of Dec (link here). Following an initial fakeout, it has since broken out to new highs. It’s trading in a Bull Quiet regime, and it just completed a strong bullish thrust. The weekly and monthly charts look even better. 


  1. However, the short-term picture suggests that a period of consolidation or retracement is likely. 

Net specs are paring back their longs from historically extended levels. Price is 1.9, 2.4, and 2.8 standard deviations above its 20, 50, and 200-day moving averages respectively. Our Open Interest Oscillator is coming off the 100th %tile, indicating a lot of attention on that market. Plus, seasonality is about to become a headwind.

We’ll use a healthy retrace/consolidation to get long.


  1. Over the last two weeks, I’ve written about a probable short-term top forming in precious metals. We got confirmation of that on Friday. 

We remain bullish PMs over the next 1-3 years, but a retrace here would be healthy. It’ll be important to see how the tapes hold up.


  1. There are a few ways to view CoT data (1) absolute numbers (2) on a long-term OI-adjusted basis to look at positioning extremes, and (3) short-term oscillators to track changes in positioning. 

Here’s an example of why it pays to look at the delta of short-term positioning. This chart shows large net speculator positioning on an oscillator basis over a 6-month timeframe. 

When it rolls over from high readings, it’s saying that bullish positioning is becoming less so, and vice versa for low readings. These positioning changes often lead (and create) the tops and bottoms. We can see that large specs are cutting their long positioning in silver.

**Note: Our team is working on fine-tuning our tools and strategies for the 2023 Macro Regime Shift. 

If you’d like to join us and make sure your portfolio benefits from a global macro strategy this year, then enroll in the Macro Ops Collective. Enrollment kicks off today and will remain open until midnight Sunday, Feb 12th. 

The Collective is our premium service that offers institutional-level research, proprietary quant tools, actionable investment strategies, and a killer community of dedicated investors and fund managers from around the world. 

You can learn more about the Collective and what it can do for your investing, here.

Or if you prefer to talk to us directly, you can schedule a free consultation call by clicking the link below:

Click here to schedule your call.

Thanks for reading.

Stay frosty and keep your head on a swivel.

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Brandon Beylo

Value Investor

Brandon has been a professional investor focusing on value for over 13 years, spending his time in small to micro-cap companies, spin-offs, SPACs, and deep value liquidation situations. Over time, he’s developed a deeper understanding for what deep-value investing actually means, and refined his philosophy to include any business trading at a wild discount to what he thinks its worth in 3-5 years.

Brandon has a tenacious passion for investing, broad-based learning, and business. He previously worked for several leading investment firms before joining the team at Macro Ops. He lives by the famous Munger mantra of trying to get a little smarter each day.


Investing & Personal Finance

AK is the founder of Macro Ops and the host of Fallible.

He started out in corporate economics for a Fortune 50 company before moving to a long/short equity investment firm.

With Macro Ops focused primarily on institutional clients, AK moved to servicing new investors just starting their journey. He takes the professional research and education produced at Macro Ops and breaks it down for beginners. The goal is to help clients find the best solution for their investing needs through effective education.

Tyler Kling

Volatility & Options Trader

Former trade desk manager at $100+ million family office where he oversaw multiple traders and helped develop cutting edge quantitative strategies in the derivatives market.

He worked as a consultant to the family office’s in-house fund of funds in the areas of portfolio manager evaluation and capital allocation.

Certified in Quantitative Finance from the Fitch Learning Center in London, England where he studied under famous quants such as Paul Wilmott.

Alex Barrow

Macro Trader

Founder and head macro trader at Macro Ops. Alex joined the US Marine Corps on his 18th birthday just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He subsequently spent a decade in the military. Serving in various capacities from scout sniper to interrogator and counterintelligence specialist. Following his military service, he worked as a contract intelligence professional for a number of US agencies (from the DIA to FBI) with a focus on counterintelligence and terrorist financing. He also spent time consulting for a tech company that specialized in building analytic software for finance and intelligence analysis.

After leaving the field of intelligence he went to work at a global macro hedge fund. He’s been professionally involved in markets since 2005, has consulted with a number of the leading names in the hedge fund space, and now manages his own family office while running Macro Ops. He’s published over 300 white papers on complex financial and macroeconomic topics, writes regularly about investment/market trends, and frequently speaks at conferences on trading and investing.

Macro Ops is a market research firm geared toward professional and experienced retail traders and investors. Macro Ops’ research has been featured in Forbes, Marketwatch, Business Insider, and Real Vision as well as a number of other leading publications.

You can find out more about Alex on his LinkedIn account here and also find him on Twitter where he frequently shares his market research.