Who’s Right the Market or the Fed ?

  • The Market and Fed are telling two different stories on where rates will be, when and the validity of economic recovery.
  • The Fed says 10, 0.25% hikes by December 2018 the US market a maximum of 3, Eurozone 1 and UK  1.
  • Global equity markets now appear to be drawing the same conclusions about “economic recovery” as rates.
  • This report shows how to calculate market expectations for rates to the 0.01% though March 2026.
  • Introduces strategy to define risk on every trade and for the duration of every trading period without wasting money on option time premium to hedge.

Latest Fed guidance

  • Expect 10, 0.25% rate hikes by December 2018
  • “Economic recovery” is underway and will continue  at a moderate pace
  • Interest rates will “normalize” by 2019

Source Federal Reserve

35+ trillion in open position face value tells us

  • Expect a maximum of 3, 0.25% rate hikes by December 2018
  • Rates will not “normalize” this decade
  • True economic recovery will take far longer than than the most pessimistic of Fed guesstimates.

A-C on the chart below shows the markets expectations for rate hikes

A) In January 2013 the market was pricing in  6 , 0.25% rate hikes by December 2018, with the spread between the June 2016 (GEM16) and December 2018 (GEZ18) deliveries at 1.50, position value 3,750.00 USD

B) By November 2013, optimism for US economic recovery and rate normalization peaked with the market pricing in 10, 0.25% rate hikes with the spread at 2.50, position value 6,750.00 USD

C) Current rate hike expectations have dropped to less than 3, 0.25% hikes,   with the spread at 0.6250, position value 1,562.50 USD

D) If the market had faith in the  Fed’s projections  the spread between the June 2016 (GEM16) and December 2018 (GEZ18) deliveries would be 2.50 reflecting the Fed’s expected 10, 0.25% hikes, position value 6,250 USD.

Current chart

How to calculate the market’s expectations to 0.01% through March 2026

Use the quotes on this Exchange page

To convert the contact delivery price into rate it represents take 100.00 – contract price = the rate.

Example, 100.00 – the December 2016 contract price of 99.17 = an expected rate of 0.83%.

To calculate expected rate increases between delivery months take the nearby delivery  minus the forward delivery equals the expected rate change between the delivery months.

Example, June 2016 delivery trading at 99.3350 – December 2016 at 99.1700 = the expected increase in rates from  June 2016 to December 2016 = 0.1650%.


What U.S. price action tell us.

  • The market’s perception of economic recovery is far worse than the Fed’s.
  • Rates will not “normalize” during this decade.
  • Fed and US fiscal policy makers creditability with the market is at a low

Eurozone market expectations are worse. 

A) In January 2013 the Eurozone  expected an increase in the 3 month Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EuriBor) between June 2016 (IMM16) and December 2018 (IMZ18) of 0.6000%, position value 1,500.00 EUR

B) By November 2013 optimism for Eurozone economic recovery and rate normalization peaked with an expected increase in the EuriBor rate between June 2016 (IMM16) and December 2018 (IMZ18) of 1.10%, position value 2,750.00 EUR

C) Currently optimism for Eurozone economic recovery and rate normalization has hit a low with an expected increase in the EuriBor rate between June 2016 (IMM16) and December 2018 (IMZ18) at 0.10%, position value 250 EUR.

Current chart

Converting the contact price into rate increase/decrease and between delivery months works the same as the US.

Use the quotes on this Exchange page  to calculate today’s Eurozone rate expectations through March 2022


3 Month EuriBor price action tells us

  • The EuriBor rate is expected to move 0.0350% lower during 2016
  • The market sees only a 0.0700% rate increase between now and December 2018
  • The EuriBor rate will remain negative through December 2019
  • Eurozone rates will not “normalize” this decade

United Kingdom, nearly the same

A) In January 2013 the UK market action expected an increase in UK 3 month rates between June 2016 (LZ16)  and December 2018 (LZ18) of 1.20%, position value 3,000.00 GBP.

B) By January 2014 optimism peaked with the market  at 1.60%, position value 4,125.00 GBP.

C) Currently  UK market action says a 0.30% increase, position value 750.00 GBP.

Using the quotes on this exchange page conversions and expected increase/decrease work the same as the U.S. and Eurozone.


What the Global Stock markets telling us about “economic recovery”

Let’s skip all the subjective fundamental economic over analysis and look at the big picture  price action. Price action is telling us uncertainty and doubt about economic recovery has now spread into the global equity markets.

S&P 500 traded at the CME

On the 16 year S&P chart below note the current volatility relative to the overall rate of change, The monthly moving average (green) has been violated, the majority of the price action is now below the moving average.

Does this market look like it’s in a healthy up trend to you?

Analysis Page

DAX traded at EUREX 

Increased volatility relative to the overall rate of change, the DAX has broken below the monthly moving average (green), the majority of the price action is now below the moving average and the long term trend appears to be changing from up to down.

Analysis Page

Nikkei 225 traded at  JPX

Increased volatility, the market has broken below the monthly moving average (green), the majority of price action now remains below the moving average, the long term trend appears to be shifting from up to down.

Screenshot_20Analysis Page


  • Put opinions aside, trade with the trend, long or short
  • Learn new markets and strategies.
  • Trade whatever market/sector has the highest return on risk
  • Define your risk on your trades and for the duration of the trading period without wasting precious investment capital on option time premium to hedge risk.

One example of defined risk trade using the Euro Stoxx 50 traded at EUREX

Looking at the chart below is it really that hard to identify the current daily trend using the moving average (green) ? We’ve seen the break  below the daily moving average with the majority of current price action now below the average.

Analysis Page

On the weekly, break below the moving average (green) the majority of the price action now below the average.

Monthly,  break below the average (green) with the majority of the price action below the average.

Analysis Page

The daily, weekly and monthly charts tell to short

Let’s check this conclusion against some common technical indicators

Analysis Page

Eurozone rate expectations sum up the economic fundamentals.  The EuriBor is pricing in lower rates during 2016 moving from the current negative 0.2550% to negative 0.2900% by December 2016. EuriBor traders are telling us loud and clear true economic recovery isn’t expected for the Eurozone in 2016.

Structuring a defined risk trade shorting the Euro Stoxx 50

A) Short the Euro Stoxx 50 at 3,000, position value 30,000 EUR
B) Write the 2,800 put collecting premium
C) Using the collected premium purchase the 3,200 call to hedge the short position

Exchange quotes

Trade Summary

  • Risk is defined on the trade and for the duration of the trading period
  • This trade cannot be stopped out regardless of market volatility, the only thing needed to be profitable is anticipating the market’s overall direction correctly.
  • The trade can be liquidated at any time ,  you do not need to hold the position to expiration.
  • The only way the 3,000 short can be pulled away is at a 2,800 generating a gross profit of 2,000 EUR.
  • If the market reverses and rallies to 3,800 losses above 3,200 are hedged by the 3,200 call with losses limited to 2,000 EUR.
  • If the market stays the same and you’ve structured your trade correctly you should break even as  you’ve collected as much time premium on the 2,800 put write against your 3,000 short as you’ve paid out for the 3,200 call  to hedge.

Effective “option collar” strategies are not limited to the international futures markets they can be employed in any market that has underlying option liquidity.


Baxter International Inc (BAX) – NYSE, Bank of America Corporation (BAC) – NYSE, General Electric Company (GE) – NYSE, SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY) – NYSEARCA, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) – NYSEARCA, SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) – NYSEARCA, Pfizer Inc. (PFE) – NYSE, Apple Inc. (AAPL) – NASDAQ, SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) – NYSEARCA, iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) – NYSEARCA, Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) – NYSEARCA, Ford Motor Company (F) – NYSE, Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) – NYSEARCA, iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI) – NYSEARCA, Shares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) – NYSEARCA,

Let’s take a look how a “collared” position protected me in Apple AAPL

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one caught long Apple AAPL  at 130 USD in July 2015

I made the mistake of getting too attached to being long this stock from 75.00 USD and stayed long in July 2015 at 130.00 USD despite the daily trend telling me it was questionable.


The weekly trend was telling me I was wrong

The monthly still appeared up with only a few “bumps” against the moving average and no sustained price action below the average.


The technical indicators continued to deteriorate


Rather than reverse to short or liquidate my Apple position I maintained my long hedging it up with a collar shown A-C on the chart below.

A) At the time I put down the collar AAPL was at 129.62 USD
B) I wrote the 140.00 1 month call against my long
C) Using the collected premium I purchased the 120.00 put

Price action got ugly quick and the market broke hard eventually taking out 110.00 USD which was disappointing but tolerable as I had my 120.00 put hedge in place negating any losses below 120.00.

I delivered my longs at 120.00, had I not “collared” this position it could have been far worse, AAPL eventually violated 95.00 USD  on that run lower and has not seen a sustained move above 120.00 since.


This Apple trade was yet another refresher course for me not getting too “attached” to a stock,  to pay attention to price action and not fight market momentum.

If you’re attached to your long shares or index positions (as I was too apple)  you too might want to take a good hard look at the current price action and start “collaring up” positions to prevent a financial character builder.

I don’t think anyone knows for sure where the peak will be for the S&P 500 and Global equity markets.


What we do know for sure is when the S&P 500 and Global equities break the financial  impact can be worse than a divorce and five kids in private school.


Using “collars” to control risk on my short to intermediate directional trades has cut my stress level on these trades by 70%. 

 Additional information

3 month rates or Eurodollar deposits are time deposits denominated in U.S. dollars at banks outside the United States. (There is no connection with the euro currency ). The term was originally coined for U.S. dollars deposited in European banks, but it’s expanded over the years to its present definition-a U.S. dollar-denominated deposit in any non US bank for example Tokyo or Beijing would be deemed a Eurodollar deposit. Futures open interest (contracts outstanding exceeds 10 trillion,

Euribor is short for Euro Interbank Offered Rate. The Euribor rates are based on the average interest rates at which a large panel of European banks borrow funds from one another. The Euribor rate is considered to be the most important reference rates in the European money market. The interest rates do provide the basis for the price and interest rates of all kinds of financial products like interest rate swaps, interest rate futures, saving accounts and mortgages.

Short Sterling prices are based on the British Bankers Association London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for three month sterling deposits in units of 500,000.00 GBP. 3-Month Sterling Futures are traded on the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, part of NYSE Euronext. Each contract is for Interest rate on three month deposit of £500,000 of 3-month Sterling.

The Standard & Poor’s 500, often abbreviated as the S&P 500, or just “the S&P”, is an American stock market index based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. The S&P 500 index components and their weightings are determined by S&P Dow Jones Indices. It differs from other U.S. stock market indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Nasdaq Composite index, because of its diverse constituency and weighting methodology. The “Composite Index”,as the S&P 500 was first called when it introduced its first stock index in 1923, began tracking a small number of stocks. 3 years later in 1926, the Composite Index expanded to 90 stocks and then in 1957 it expanded to its current 500. S&P 500 futures trading began in 1988, e-mini contract 1997.

The DAX (Deutscher Aktienindex (German stock index)) is a blue chip stock market index consisting of the 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Prices are taken from the Xetra trading venue. According to Deutsche Börse, the operator of Xetra, DAX measures the performance of the Prime Standard’s 30 largest German companies in terms of order book volume and market capitalization It is the equivalent of the FT 30 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Nikkei 225, the Nikkei Stock Average is a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). It has been calculated daily by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) newspaper since 1950. It is a price-weighted index (the unit is yen), and the components are reviewed once a year. Currently, the Nikkei is the most widely quoted average of Japanese equities, similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Nikkei 225 Futures, introduced at Singapore Exchange (SGX) in 1986, the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) in 1988, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in 1990, is now an internationally recognized futures index.

The EURO STOXX 50 is a stock index future of Eurozone stocks designed by STOXX, an index provider owned by Deutsche Börse Group and SIX Group. Its goal is “to provide a blue-chip representation of Supersector leaders in the Eurozone”. It is made up of fifty of the largest and most liquid stocks. The index futures and options on the EURO STOXX 50, traded on Eurex, are among the most liquid futures contracts in the world

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Asset Investment Management

Family Office, Advisors