Good Morning everyone, and welcome to another Weekly Wizdom!
Thank you to everyone for your support during the free trial of the Weekly Wizdom. During times of extraordinary global uncertainty across markets, our team aims to deliver robust market insights and analysis to ensure you and your portfolio stay well informed. To facilitate this coverage, the newsletter will be $39.99 monthly from now onward. For the NEXT 24 HOURS we will be OFFERING EVERYONE EARLY MEMBER DISCOUNT !!! This is only for 24 hours. Go ahead and get subscribed now.
This week’s and our inaugural newsletter are just snippets of what’s to come - don’t miss it! The subscription will not only give you access to our weekly newsletter, which is one of the most comprehensive newsletters in the market, but it will also give you access to individual reports, trade ideas on stocks, crypto, NFTs, commodities, and a lot more. All the content provided is specially curated and will help build and educate better trading and investment opportunities for all. We look forward to your continued support! On that note, let’s dive in!
It has been a volatile month in macro markets after seeing one of the biggest 2 day moves in the stock markets in a decade. We saw a market rally on CPI and PPI, only to have the rally paused resulting in a visible pullback on the back of more Fed governors, who paired their dovish rhetoric with some hawkish statements.
We saw the US treasury curve invert further to new lows on the possibility that growth will stall as the Fed continues to hike aggressively (see the Yield curve section for more information). Strong retail sales data, which could be a bit clouded based on stimulus in certain states, increased the chances that the Fed could keep tightening monetary policy, even after softer than expected CPI and PPI data increased chances that hikes could be getting closer to an end. This sent yields lower and risk assets higher.
It is possible the Fed saw the reaction to the October CPI in the markets with aggressive rallies, so Powell made sure his governors gave guidance to push back on the market and made notions of a pause in hikes and to curtail the rally. Boston Fed President Susan Collins said more rate hikes are ahead. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard noted that “the policy rate is not yet in a zone that may be considered sufficiently restrictive.” Bullard was quite hawkish and said the proper zone for the Fed funds rate could be in the 5% to 7% range, which is higher than what the market is currently pricing in and what unofficial Fed forecasts indicate. This is a change from the other Fed governors statements earlier in the week. Although nobody is expecting a pause in hikes anytime soon, the market is expecting a slowdown in the size of hikes from 75 bps to 50 bps.
Recent data has indicated that the pace of inflation could be slowing. The consumer price index for October increased by 0.4% below market expectations, and the annual pace is down to 7.7%, off the 41-year high reached in the summer. This is still well above the Fed’s 2% target. Another measure Fed officials prefer has core inflation, excluding food and energy at 5.1% annually, but that is still out of line with the goal.
There’s little, if any dissent on the Fed, over whether rates need to continue to rise. The market is also pricing in that the Fed will keep hiking. We are definitely not close to controlling inflation. Most members have suggested a few more increases over the next several months that will take the central bank’s benchmark overnight borrowing rate to around 5% from its current target range of 3.75%-4%.
Fed officials have largely remained steadfast in their commitment towards fighting inflation. However, Fed Mester and Bostic spoke over the weekend and earlier this week indicating that they are open to slowing the pace of rate hikes. Minutes taken from the Fed’s November meeting are scheduled to be released at 2PM EST this Wednesday, which will offer new insights into how high officials expect to hike rates. Fed funds futures traders are now pricing for the Fed funds rate to rise to 5.01% by May, from 3.83%.
There has been a lot of chatter about the yield curve all over the news and across several other channels. This is a closely watched metric for recession prediction. As you can see, we are at some of the most inverted levels in over 30+ years, which is worrying a lot of people and causing concerns that we are nowhere close to a rebound.
The basic way to understand this yield curve spread is to think about the fact that people expect more yield from longer duration/maturity bonds. The longer you have to hold something, the more you should be compensated for that risk. The yield curve in general is upward sloping with longer end yields, higher than short end, to show long term growth in the market. A flip in this relationship is usually a signal of something wrong in the market, whether that be a possible recession or an aggressive hiking schedule with the market, reacting in the short end more than the long end. As the Fed hikes up the Fed Funds rates, which are short end rates, you see the front end of the curve move up more. A lot of this inversion has to do with that. The yield curve inverted before recessions in 2001, 2009 and during the Covid pandemic. Regardless, stocks are barely down 17% with a huge rally in the last 2 weeks, causing a lot of confusion.
With labor breaking and consumer demand slowing down on the back of Fed hikes, the economy could very well be in a recession, or heading towards one. We have to remember that the market can move fast and is forward looking. We could be rallying in assets even when the general economy and people around you are going through a tough time. This has happened in every bear market before, and the recovery starts much before you see it happening around you.
Ideally, this is a soft landing and we don’t see a recession that spikes unemployment too high. As mentioned, markets are forward looking, and everyone knows what the Feds game plan is to a certain extent. Powell has consistently said that he is focused on price stability, while simultaneously making sure he has room to hike rates with the labor market. If labor markets weaken and we see unemployment spiking towards 5%, it will hold him from hiking rates more, allowing the hiked rates to do their work by slowing or pausing them. This will ensure that he doesn’t overdo it and hurt the labor market, resulting in unemployment increasing too much and landing hard. The Fed knows exactly how to turn things around quickly. This year alone we have seen 2 rallies, which resulted from some potential speculation of a “pivot”. The moment the Fed is concerned that the labor market could be looking to break, they will announce a pause and you will see an aggressive market rally and recovery.
It is important to remember that just because the yield curve is inverted, doesn’t mean that we cannot have rallies in risk assets. We have had aggressive rallies in the past, even when the yield curve was inverted. We had 20% rallies in the 1979 inversion and several 10%+ rallies in the 1969 inversion. We just saw a 10%+ rally post CPI and PPI even as the 2Y10Y inversion hit new recent highs.
Reports came out of Poland last week that Russian rockets killed two people approximately 6 kilometers from the Polish-Ukrainian border. Russia had staged missile barrages that same day, targeting key Ukrainian infrastructure. Amid his attendance at the G20 Summit in Bali, US President Joe Biden eased nervousness by delivering messages stating that preliminary intelligence conflicted with initial claims from Ukrainian President Zelensky, that the rockets had been fired by Russia. Biden stated that the US and major allies would work collectively with Polish authorities to investigate the source of the rockets.
Given that Poland is a NATO ally and the consequences that potential invocations of NATO articles around collective defense would create, markets gave back intraweek gains last week preceding Biden’s aforementioned affirmation. Since then the US, NATO, and Poland’s leaders have not described the incident as an attack. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, told the media in Brussels that “preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks.” Furthermore, Polish President Andrzej Duda has stated that Poland is unlikely to invoke Article 4 of the NATO charter, which would prompt discussions around military response. The US-led investigative consortium has pointed towards conclusions that the missile responsible for the explosion that killed two people in Przewodow, was a misguided Ukrainian air defense missile and an unfortunate accident in retaliation to Russia’s continued offense.
News from China has been volatile. Two weeks ago, information was released that China would be easing restrictions, which definitely gave the market a boost with luxury retailers showing gains. We now got news this past week of the return of tight COVID restrictions in a Chinese city that is considered a proxy for overall policy. There is speculation that China could return to a zero-COVID stance as schools and universities in Shijiazhuang are on lockdown and people with higher risk are told to stay home. According to the Beijing Daily, there is a rise in Covid cases and some elderly have died. This news has been having quite an impact on US stock markets as China is still a major player in the global demand. More so, energy prices fluctuate aggressively on their policies regarding Covid. Should they ease their stance, this could also have an impact on headline inflation if energy prices go up. At the moment it doesn't seem like they are about to, which has resulted in Goldman Sachs reducing their forecast on Brent crude by $10 (now $100).
This week is obviously going to be a shorter one with Thanksgiving weekend ahead. Stock markets will be closing at 1pm ET Friday, with volumes in bond markets reduced across the board. There are a few important economic reports and Wednesday's release of the FOMC meeting minutes.
After the market close today, we will see earnings from retailers like Nordstorm. After Target and Walmarts contradicting reports, it will be interesting to learn how Nordstrom results come in. Wednesday’s data includes durable goods, new home sales, unemployment claims, and consumer sentiment. There will also be releases of S&P Global’s PMIs for manufacturing and services that day.
Although we have a few data points and Fed speakers ahead, the most important data points that will drive the market aggressively are Personal Consumption Expenditure Data on December 1st and Non Farm Payrolls on December 2nd. These two data points will dictate how the market moves in the next month. I will dive in deeper in next week’s newsletter, as there is a lot to go through, which requires a dedicated scenario analysis so that you can make the perfect decision based on it.
Wednesday, November 23rd
8:30 am EST – Initial Jobless Claims
10:00 am EST – Michigan Consumer Confidence
10:00 am EST – New Home Sales
2:00 pm EST – FOMC Minutes
Crude flat price (front month Brent and WTI) dropped 5% due to an article stating that OPEC+ were considering hiking oil production by 500,000 bpd at the next meeting. Saudi officials denied the validity of the article and crude quickly recovered all its losses.
The market also remains cautious on the upcoming oil and macro drivers in the beginning of December, where the next OPEC+ meeting coincides with the cutoff for Russia crude exports, while the CPI print and Fed decision come shortly after.
Since last week, oil has continued its downward trajectory. Let’s look at the most recent developments and likely catalysts for future volatility.
Heating Oil stocks in the US are at an all time low.
This week has not been any more forgiving than the last for BTC and ETH, as we have seen moves down on BTC from $16,800 to mid-$15,000’s and from $1,250 to $1,080 on ETH. With fear and uncertainty increasing, we are likely heading for more downside into the holiday season. With BTC giving back all the bounce it made last week, it is tagging those same lows at $15,500. ETH still remains about 25% above its June low of around $900, once again showing strength relative to BTC. However, this may not last long.
As I stated last week, a break below $1,100 can send us to test June lows and likely lower. We are hovering right around that $1,100 level and I see us heading to test $1,000 which is a major psychological level. Without a bearish catalyst, $1,000 may be tough to break below. Ideally, we should see a slight bounce towards $1,150-$1,200, unless BTC pulls the rug prematurely due to a bearish catalyst. I would like to point out the head and shoulder breakdown on the weekly chart. We have retested the neckline breakdown level and rejected it three times: once at $2,000, at $1,800, and at $1,600. This is an indication that there are sellers present in the $2,000 to $1,600 range. Once again, there is low liquidity in the market and if you are a trader it is best to stick to short term setups.
ETH is trading in a price channel of $1,000-$1,600. If we cannot hold the $1,000 psychological level and June lows, we can see $400-$600 before this bear market is over. If ETH can hold the $1,000 level, receive an unexpected bullish catalyst, and clear $1,200, we can see a rally towards $1,350 and if we clear that, potentially $1,500. However, this is an unlikely scenario.
Unless BTC can form a firm double bottom here at $15,500, we are likely going to see a break to new cycle low’s around the demand shelf and previous breakout level of $9,000-$12,000. If we reach these levels, this can be a generational buying opportunity for long term holders. If we do see a firm double bottom and hold the $15,000 level, we should see a small rally to $18,000-$20,000 before heading lower. This rally would indicate a retest of the head and shoulders breakdown on the Daily timeframe.
SPY is currently testing a resistance level at the top of a downtrend channel. If SPY can clear the $401 level with strength, it will likely see the $410 level and potentially the $420 level. If SPY cannot rally above $401, it can see a breakdown towards $380 in the short term. I am leaning towards a rally to $420 level to test another resistance level.
U.S. Treasuries started the week by extending last week’s declines on Monday intraday due to rumors of an OPEC production increase. This rumor was later denied by the Saudis, momentarily lowering short-term inflation expectations. 10-year yields experienced brief volatility, with as much as 7-8 basis point moves before edging back up to 3.84% to end the trading session. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly came out urging caution around the possibility of the Fed tightening too much too quickly, while reiterating that there is still more work to do to bring inflation down. Although last month’s inflation report was encouraging to Fed officials, markets expect the Fed to continue with a 50 basis point hike in December. Current expectations for the terminal benchmark rate land in the 4.75% to 5.25% range around the middle of 2023 before markets believe the Fed takes its foot off of the gas. Eyes will be keen on the FOMC Minutes releasing later this afternoon from the Fed’s Nov 1-2 Meeting for updated guidance.
Bored Ape Yacht Club and the Yuga Labs ecosystem bounce back from their lows last week. These lows were a result of the recurring threat of BendDao liquidations. With Proof Pass opening and clothing the week with a floor price of 30ETH and Moonbirds overall price declining from 7.7ETH to 7.3ETH, proof assets have remained relatively stable.
On November 14th, Yuga Labs announced their acquisition of Wenew Labs and 10KTF. An affiliation between Yuga and 10KTF has been hinted at for approximately six months, specifically related to Yuga’s metaverse project “Otherside Meta”. The teams have been close since the inception of 10KTF in 2021, primarily through 10KTF leads, Guy Oseary and Beeple. With this acquisition there is also some speculation surrounding the recent hit collection “Renga”. While Renga is an art and lore focused project from esteemed artist Dirty Robot, its website has made it clear that Renga is “powered by Wenew Labs”, which has now been acquired by Yuga. It will be interesting to see the extent of this acquisition and if it affects Renga as well.
Recently, several large NFT brands branched out to a variety of industries to help reach non-crypto markets. The largest NFT has been Azuki, who announced a deal with Oracle Red Bull Racing November 16. The partnership seems to be centered around a character called “Lei the Lightning Azuki”. Azuki will be displayed on Red Bull’s company car and used in other marketing material. In addition, Red Bull is using their other sponsor, Bybit, to launch a free NFT of the Azuki that fans can mint for free as of November 20th. Azuki’s OpenSea floor price has increased by 8.4% since their alliance was announced. This announcement is transpiring from their clothing collaboration with Ambusa Japanese streetwear brand by Yoon Ahn). As a result, Azuki looks to continue forming partnerships with large brands in key markets.
Pudgy Penguins is another key partnership that was recently announced. They have licensed one NFT out of their collection to appear on a Kellogg's Cereal Box. You will be able to obtain a box when you mint from Kellogg’s NFT project called The Br3akfast Club. These two partnerships serve the broader step of pushing the NFT ecosystem to reach more mainstream markets, especially ones that have been anti-NFT in the past. This comes off the back of Web 2.0 incumbents like Reddit and ETH-based blockchain game Sorare launching their own NFT programs that were well received by the existing user bases several weeks prior.
SuperRare, an NFT marketplace that focuses on digital and fine art, released a Genesis Pass collection intended to give a historic opportunity for holders to collect art from some of the most celebrated artists in the space. The 250-piece collection allows holders to obtain a monthly airdrop from an influential artist over a full year. In addition, they will allow for the opportunity to win a unique 1/1 piece from another selection of curated artists 3x times a month. Some of the artists that are featured are XCOPY, OSF, Drift, Matt Kane, Hackatao and more. The passes sold out at around 23ETH and have stayed around that price over the past week. The most recent sale was a WETH offer at 20ETH. Fine art and 1/1 pieces will be less impacted by market conditions than PFPs or community centric collections, so the pass and subsequent drops should hold up well compared to other NFTs. An interesting collection to reference is gmDAO, whose multiple drops covered the cost of the pass if you purchased before the drops. With seed phrase, a prominent NFT collector, sweeping gmDAO earlier in November we could see flight to art in this turbulent crypto market.
As individuals we don’t need all that much to survive. In 1943 American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, wrote a paper called “The Theory of Human Motivation”. In it, he provided a hierarchy of needs starting with our basic human needs to survive, working up to self actualization, or in plain terms, becoming the best you can be. As a foundation, humans need very little to survive. Our basic physical needs are air, food, water, shelter, clothing, reproduction and sleep. Though it may seem obvious, these are needs that are taken for granted and in Web3, we all know that getting a good night’s sleep can be nearly impossible. The reality is, without mastering these basic physiological needs, it is impossible to reach self-actualization.
What’s unnerving is that our modern day society makes it really difficult to attain even these basic needs. If you think of it, that may be why so many people never reach the top of the hierarchy. They burn out, become depressed, turn to substance abuse for sedation or to stay awake, all in the search for this idea of wealth and stability. The problem: wealth is nothing without a healthy being. It certainly does help, but if we don’t have the energy or mental stability to enjoy it, then we have failed.
This week I’ll be talking all about sleep and something called “sleep hygiene”. Though this may be a touchy topic for most. You might already be wondering how you can possibly attain a good night's sleep when working on a platform that runs 24/7. I know it’s not easy and for some of you, it may seem impossible, but educating yourself on the tools you NEED to make your body function at its best is absolutely worth it. Let me teach you the importance of hitting that mystical REM cycle that you probably haven’t reached, and then you can make your own decision of whether or not you think it’s worth it.
When working in any field that doesn’t allow for routine, it is a known fact that our emotional and psychological well-being take a toll. Humans crave routine. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep, our bodies need stability. In plain terms, what would happen to you if you stopped drinking water or eating for a few days? You’d immediately start to notice a feeling of physical unease. You would be tired, sluggish, weak, light headed, irritable. Sleep, like food and water, is a physical need that our body requires in order to heal, build and reset.
On an average day, studies have shown that we have over 6,000 thoughts. We are constantly alert, making decisions, problem solving and planning. Through this process our brain is working on making connections and though we don’t know it, there is a build-up of toxins forming between the nerves that make these connections. This is why a lack of sleep will cause us to feel sluggish or “foggy”. Brain fog is a term that is actually directly correlated to an increase of these toxins in the brain. How do we get rid of these toxins? Sleep. No, I don’t mean a 1 hour nap here and there just to stay sane, I mean 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Not only does sleep restore your brain chemistry and give it a good detox, but it is also essential for a number of other things like:
Here are some of the side effects associated with a lack of sleep:
It may be surprising, but sleep is associated with almost every bodily function. As someone who has struggled with sleep ever since I can remember, I can vouch for the fact that I am a better human when I’m well rested. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health, wellbeing and career.
Take an evening to unplug and get a full night of rest. Put your technology away, make a nice meal, take a walk, and relax. Your body will thank you!
This recipe is great if you don’t like to be too hands on with food. With little prep, just put the ingredients together in a dutch oven, bake for 3-4 hours and serve with your favorite side.
Pair this with a rich, full bodied Italian red wine like a Super Tuscan or Barolo. Tignanello Super Tuscan could be a good fit, but is usually in the $120. Remember, the older the vintage the better! A more affordable option is Beni di Batasiolo Barolo, which is a dry, full bodied Barolo at just under $35.
It has been an eventful week in markets, especially crypto markets. A lot has gone through my mind as I try to make sense of it and navigate the different parts. If you have a diversified portfolio, like mine with crypto, NFTS and traditional risk assets, it has been a bit of a challenge as lots of idiosyncratic risks have developed in the cryptocurrency market.
The crypto market is largely still quite a nascent market. If you read through the history books you will see many instances, like this one, as the stock market was growing. Events like exchanges collapsing, fraud, major projects and institutional capitulation are part of the growing pains. We have also seen this happen in traditional markets just over a decade ago with Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merril Lynch collapsing and having to be bailed out or going bankrupt. If traditional markets with more than a century of development are not immune to it, how do we hold young markets that are less than a decade old exempt from the phenomena? Consolidation of exchanges and market makers through collapse is a time old story.
The key is to always make sure you see long term vision on what you invest in. Sticking to majors that have longevity is key. Almost all the companies that IPO’ed in Q1 of 1999 have gone bankrupt. Out of almost 900+ automobile companies that were destined to be the next big thing, only 3 survived - Ford, Chrysler and GM. There are over 20,000 cryptocurrencies and utility tokens. In the end,less than 5% of these will survive.
The market in general is getting quite bearish and the crypto market is definitely overly bearish, relative to stock markets. Rates market and stocks are holding on to the possibility that we have reached some form of local bottom. This obviously depends on the plethora of data coming in the next 2 weeks. In the stock market, the call skew seems at a massive premium, whereas in crypto, the put skew seems completely pushed to one way. Selling puts on $ETH at just 10-15% out of the money right now resulting in 50% APY at the moment compared to selling calls at 25%. Such metrics aid in painting the dichotomy and growing disconnect between crypto markets and stocks.
For now, I am observing all markets and waiting for data before making my next major moves of deploying cash or taking risk off the table. I will discuss it further in the next week's newsletter.
One of the saddest things in this entire FTX debacle is the media bias and the whole “fake news” narrative coming to light. As someone who has been front and center in this FTX and crypto disaster and knowing that it was fraudulent and borderline criminal activities where SBF stole from the customers of FTX through unethical loans to his hedge fund. The media which clearly seems to be bought or in the pockets of the PR team of SBF is portraying him as the victim of high leverage and some trades going bad.
But it's quite alright. We know the truth, we know what really happened and we will do our part to always make sure what the truth is. We will call out the media that is portraying this entire story incorrectly everyday.
Vice and virtue result from habits, which themselves are the result of past actions and environment, including the social and political environment. Aristotle said that political science is the science which studies the good for humans. This leads us to Aristotle’s conception of government and society. In brief, Aristotle believed that societies can only survive and flourish if there is some basic agreement about issues of private morality. The founders of the USA thought that individual moral and religious pluralism was allowable, as long as the public, secular good took precedence.
In thinking about the ideal life, Aristotle contrasts lives of pleasure, honor, and intellectual reflection. Not surprisingly, he felt the latter was superior. He thought that intellectual contemplation was the highest and best human activity. Plato argued that intellectual pleasures are better than physical ones. He says you can confirm this by asking anyone who has experienced both types, and they will prefer intellectual pleasures. In arguing that intellectual contemplation is the best activity, Aristotle didn’t seem to fully account for how much one’s station in life affects their ability to live well.
I increased my allocation to crypto, spot buying $ETH and $MATIC in the drop over the week at $1115 and $0.80. These are long term spot position buys that I plan on holding for 1-2 years at minimum. I have also been selling covered calls and collecting premiums on them and will start looking to sell out the money puts, as the market is getting quite bearish here and I think is over extended.
I increased my allocation by 1% as I bought CloneX NFTs ahead of their Project Animus egg drop. These got to 6.5 ETH in the crash so I grabbed at 7.1 ETH. They are currently at 8.4 ETH and I expect them to cross 10 ETH. My estimate on the egg drop is around 1.5-2 ETH minimum so this is quite a net +ev trade at the moment. I will be taking profits on CloneX if they get to 11-12 ETH.
I reduced my short term call positions slightly and rolled some to January 2023, 300-320 strike positions. I also bought December 275 QQQ puts as crash insurance on my portfolio in the rally, as call skew seems to be quite stretched at the moment. I could be looking to sell some of the money call options to collect the premium. These would be covered calls on my existing stock and QQQ longs.
The DISNEY positions I mentioned last time ended up significantly in the money as they brought Bob Iger back as CEO and the stock rallied 8%+. I took 30% of my positions off on this.
I added slightly to my Private Equity position this past week by investing in a Virtual Reality enterprise company. I do believe eventually people will focus on more work from home, but at the same time workplaces will want to create good culture and team spirit and this is where VR comes into play. The worlds being created with full auditoriums, meditation areas, brainstorm zones, and more are pretty amazing. I am bullish on the world of VR for enterprise long term.
Slight decline in the stablecoin portion of portfolio as a result of the new aforementioned allocations and some rebalancing.
We will dive deeper into past inflation regimes and how the markets came out of depressions and recessions. In addition, we will start focusing on giving stock, NFT and crypto picks with detailed reports on them. We will also dive deeper into China and market impacts of their new policies.
Stay tuned for a Sports Betting section, coming next week!