Mean Reversion Volatility Strategy

Ever wondered if you can design a profitable trading strategy by trading volatility ETFs ? Well, yes you can. Those ETFs are highly ineffective vehicles on a long term investment horizon. However short term strategies have shown to be a rewarding way to trade these ETFs. Before we move onto strategy design we have to choose two volatility ETFs for backtesting. We will backtest our strategies with VXX and XIV ETFs since they are the most widely traded ones and have enough trading volume to keep our slippage low and guarantee fast order execution.

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How to invest in water the next big thing

Is it the next gold rush or just a hype ? We all remember the movie The Big Short which tells the story of four investors who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse in 2008. The first of these investors that predicted the burst of the housing bubble was Dr. Michael Burry, who is portrayed in The Big Short by Christian Bale. The last line of the movie, printed on a placard, is: “Michael Burry is focusing all of his trading on one commodity: Water.”

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Weekly Market Report

Market Spreads
30Y T Bonds 0 1 0 0
T-Notes 10Y 44 50 50 49
T-Notes 5Y 43 48 48 47
E-mini S&P 500 100 98 100 99
Russel 2000 97 98 100 100
Vix 2 0 0 0
Gold 21 27 25 23
Silver 35 51 50 55
Copper 55 60 59 60
Platinum 60 58 55 55
Palladium 84 84 78 75
Crude Oil 85 83 83 80
Natural Gas 70 75 87 75

market news

Silver Scandal: Back in April Deutsche Bank had agreed to settle allegations it had rigged the silver market in exchange for $38 million. In a curious twist, the settlement letter revealed that the former members of the manipulation cartel have turned on each other, and that Deutsche Bank would provide documents implicating other precious metals riggers. In addition to valuable monetary consideration, Deutsche Bank has also agreed to provide cooperation to plaintiffs, including the production of instant messages, and other electronic communications, as part of the settlement. The latest evidence is critical because as the plaintiffs add, the new scheme “far surpasses the conspiracy alleged earlier.”

The Deutsche Bank documents show, among other things, how two UBS traders communicated directly with two Deutsche Bank traders and discussed ways to rig the market. The traders shared customer order-flow information, improperly triggered customer stop-loss orders, and engaged in practices such as spoofing, all meant to destabilize the price of silver ahead of the fix and result in forced selling or buying.

Fiscal Stimulus: As Goldman writes in a note from this morning, “most market participants appear to be expecting fiscal policy to become more expansionary next year, but the timing of such a shift remains unclear.” In fact, according to Goldman calculations, the most likely phase in period is the very end of 2017, if not early 2018 at the earliest, to wit: “Our preliminary expectation is that the growth effects from looser fiscal policy would be concentrated in Q4 2017 and the first half of 2018.”

In our view, there are three factors that will influence the timing of any fiscal boost. First, the legislative process will take months, at least, and could push some priorities like tax cuts to the second half of 2017. Second, implementation can take longer, particularly if it involves a new program, as might be the case regarding infrastructure. Third, once a policy change has been made and implemented, it can take time for economic activity to respond; consumers might initially save some of their tax windfall before spending, and infrastructure spending can take several quarters after contracts are signed.

ECB Collateral Shortage: While most were expecting the ECB to extend its QE program by at least 6 months (it did so by 9) and not to taper (it did so by cutting the monthly purchases from €80 to €60 billion), another just as prominent question was whether the ECB would tackle the problem of collateral shortage, and if so how. While there has been a selloff in the Bund long end, the short end, especially 2Y Bunds, have seen their yields tumble to record lows as financial institutions loaded up on securities to satisfy collateral demands.

Moments after Draghi’s presser, the ECB addressed the issue of the Eurosystem’s persistent collateral shortage issue in a press release “Eurosystem introduces cash collateral for PSPP securities lending facilities” in which as the name implies, the ECB has introduced the use of cash as acceptable collateral, a step which will alleviate the incipient collateral shortage in the Eurosystem.

Specifically, the ECB noted:

  • New possibility to use cash as collateral
  • Pricing will be linked to the deposit facility rate
  • Changes aim to enhance effectiveness of PSPP securities lending
  • Maximum overall limit of €50 billion for the Eurosystem

The full release:

Today, the Governing Council decided that Eurosystem central banks will have the possibility to also accept cash as collateral in their PSPP securities lending (SL) facilities without having to reinvest it in a cash-neutral manner.

The following Eurosystem members will make securities lending available also against cash collateral by 15 December 2016: the ECB, Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique, Deutsche Bundesbank, Central Bank of Ireland, Banco de España, Banque de France, and De Nederlandsche Bank.

The overall limit for securities lending against cash collateral is set at €50 billion for the Eurosystem. To avoid unduly curtailing normal repo market activity, the cash collateral option will be offered at a rate equal to the lower of the rate of the deposit facility minus 30 basis points (i.e. currently -70 basis points) and the prevailing market repo rate.

The introduction of cash as collateral in the context of PSPP securities lending is intended to enhance the effectiveness of the SL framework, thereby supporting the smooth implementation of the PSPP as well as the euro area repo market liquidity and functioning. This technical amendment does not represent any change in the monetary policy stance of the Eurosystem. It will be reviewed in light of operational needs and the level of excess liquidity.

Italian banks after the referendum: The first casualty was Matteo Renzi’s hold on office. As he had promised, Italy’s prime minister resigned on December 7th, three days after voters rejected his proposals to overhaul the constitution. The second is likely to be a planned private-sector recapitalisation of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the country’s third-biggest bank and the world’s oldest. A government rescue was reportedly being prepared.

Monte dei Paschi has been in trouble for years. It has already had two state bail-outs and frittered away €8bn ($10bn) raised in share sales in 2014 and 2015. Its stockmarket value has dwindled to €600m, having fallen by 85% this year. Its non-performing loans (NPLs), even after provisions, are 21.5% of its total; the gross figure is 35.5%. In July it fell ignominiously short in European stress tests, ranking 51st of 51 lenders. The European Central Bank, its supervisor, asked it to raise more capital by the end of the year. This week the bank asked for more time.

Awkwardly, Italy is constrained by European Union “resolution” rules, which came fully into force this year, aimed at avoiding repeats of the bail-outs in several countries that followed the financial crisis of 2008. If banks receive state aid, they are in effect deemed bust; bondholders as well as shareholders must accept losses. In Italy, however, small investors—who are usually depositors, too—account for a large share of junior bonds. A “bail-in” of bondholders in four small banks late in 2015 caused uproar (at least one investor took his own life). The authorities have been desperate to ensure the same does not happen at Monte dei Paschi, where 40,000 households own €2bn-worth of its bonds. Again depositors are being ripped off. And yes we told you so …

In the last 36 months, Canada, Cyprus, New Zealand, the US, the UK, and now Germany have all implemented legislation that would allow them to first FREEZE and then SEIZE bank assets during the next crisis.

These moves are sold as “for the public’s good,” when they happen. But the reality is that it’s all about stopping people from having physical cash.

Why Copper rises like there is no tomorrow

The copper bull market looks like it’s just warming up. It seems that we are in the early part of this boom and yet the media isn’t paying much attention to it. Copper is on the rise when the industry is booming. In short, copper is used in nearly every major industry of the world: transportation, engineering, machinery and equipment, electrical, building, automotive and computer.Thanks to significant demand worldwide, the base metal has outpaced all of its higher-profile precious peers by a significant margin over the last several weeks. In the short term we can observe price swings and the bears waiting for a major correction. However the long term picture -monthly view – paints a different picture telling us that this is only the beginning.

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Gilead Capital Opens Huge Landauer Inc Position

Gilead Capital Lp filed with the SEC SC 13D form for Landauer Inc. As reported in Gilead Capital Lp’s form, the filler as of late owns 5% or 480,215 shares of the Health Care company.

Landauer Stock

Dear Members of the Board of Directors:
Gilead Capital LP (“Gilead,” “we,” or “us”) currently holds approximately 5.0% of the common stock of Landauer, Inc. (the “Company” or “Landauer”). Over the past 18 months of engagement with the Company, we have made clear to you our Leadership Investing strategy: to find and invest in durable, high-quality businesses underachieving their potential due to shortfalls in governance or leadership and, where the need and opportunity merit, play an active and constructive role in helping them reach their full potential. We have invested in and engaged with Landauer to help remedy this Board’s longstanding failures – a number of which are described herein – which we believe are responsible for the stock’s long-term underperformance and could endanger the realization of the long-term opportunities available to its exceptional radiation measurement business.
We write to you publicly only after constructively and patiently encouraging you over the past several months to follow Landauer’s codes of ethics and to address what we see as the Board’s major governance shortfalls. We had hoped to avoid the need to discuss this publicly and gave you numerous opportunities to deal with our concerns and consider our proposals privately and in accordance with your policies and procedures. You have instead demanded that we trust this Board with the Company in spite of its track record of failures as described below. That you do so while failing to adhere to your codes and to what we view as the most basic tenets of good governance has forced our hand and only made it more apparent to us how deeply entrenched these problems are and how urgently change is needed.
The Board Has Failed to Address the Executive Chairman’s Legal and Ethical Violations
We must first address the elephant in the room: Executive Chairman Michael Leatherman. Gilead has zero tolerance for illegal or unethical behavior and applies the same standard to those who represent us as directors. We thus feel obligated to speak up when we discover that our representatives are failing to uphold that standard.
On October 27, 2016, we asked Mr. Leatherman about the discrepancy between our public records search1 and Landauer’s repeated statements over the past eight years that Mr. Leatherman is a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”).2 Mr. Leatherman conceded that he does not have a CPA license but brazenly dismissed our inquiry, asserting that he did not see “why in the world it matters.
Make no mistake – IT MATTERS.” – Gilead Capital LP


Gilead Capital LP on the future of Landauer Inc.


Seizing the Opportunity to Reinvigorate Landauer
With upgrades in Board composition and skills, a clear and transparent long-term strategy, strategically-aligned incentives, rigorous capital allocation and financing policies, and improved investor relations, Gilead Capital believes the Company could reach its full potential and capitalize on the numerous strategic, technological, and operational opportunities available to it – most importantly Verifii. Allowing the Board to remain complacent and reactive, and not only could these opportunities be squandered, but, in their view, the Company could permanently cede its technological and operational leadership in its core business and irreparably impair shareholder value.
On October 4, 2016, Gilead met with Mr. Leatherman and Mr. Kaminski and shared with the Board this diagnosis and their prescriptions, including fostering an ownership culture through direct shareholder representation on the Board. During the conversation, Mr. Leatherman acknowledged some, though far from all, of the Board’s shortcomings and complimented Gilead’s knowledge of the Company as “parallel” to that of the Board. Yet in the subsequent communications, the Board has denied the need for outside assistance, insisting they leave Landauer’s future in their hands.


Earnings Momentum

Landauer, Inc. has an earnings score of 64.34 and has a relative valuation of NEUTRAL.

Landauer Inc


Landauer Inc Institutional Sentiment


Latest Security and Exchange filings show 122 investors own Landauer Inc. The institutional ownership shows a bullish pattern. In total 17 funds opened new Landauer Inc stakes, 46 increased stakes. There were 13 that closed positions and 30 reduced them. Institutional investors bullish on Landauer Inc, include Vanguard Group, Bernzott  Capital Advisors and Blackrock Fund Advisors. Bernzott owns a total of 474,380 shares which constitutes 3.70% of their total portfolio.

Analysts await Landauer Inc (NYSE:LDR) to report earnings on December, 12. They expect $0.29 earnings per share, down 27.50% or $0.11 from last year’s $0.4 per share. LDR’s profit will be $2.76 million for 44.18 P/E if the $0.29 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.49 actual earnings per share reported by Landauer Inc for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -40.82% negative EPS growth.



Weekly Market Report

Market Sentiment




Support and Resistance

December 16 Thirty Year Treasury Bonds

Support 152^00 Resistance 153^30

December 16 Gold

Support 1202.0 Resistance 1221.0

December 16 Copper

Support 2.4590 Resistance 2.5450

December 16 Silver

Support 15.60 Resistance 19.60

January 17 Crude Oil

Support 46.31 Resistance 48.98


10 year Pattern Analysis


E-mini S&P 500 – Enter Long: Trading Day 10 of Month:Dec. , Exit Long: Trading Day 17 Month: Dec. >> Stats: Win% 80

Swiss Franc – Enter Long: Trading Day 15 of Month:Dec. , Exit Long: Trading Day 19 Month: Dec. >> Stats: Win% 70, increased volatility

Japanese Yen – Enter Long: Trading Day 07 of Month:Dec. , Exit Long: Trading Day 08 Month: Dec. >> Stats: Win% 70

Crude Oil – Enter Long: Trading Day 17 of Month:Dec. , Exit Long: Trading Day 18 Month: Dec. >> Stats: Win% 70




Swiss National Bank governing board member Andréa Maechler, speaking in Geneva, said the country’s currency remains stubbornly overvalued despite efforts to bring it down. SNB prepared for additional market intervention. Highest Volatility and possible time of interventions

“Alongside the negative interest rate, our willingness to intervene in the foreign-exchange market as necessary constitutes a key element of our current monetary policy,” SNB governing board member Andréa Maechler said in prepared remarks to a conference in Geneva.

“Nonetheless, the Swiss franc remains significantly overvalued,” she said.

Long term support level currently at 0.9880


The use of unconventional measures poses some challenges for the implementation of monetary policy. For the Swiss National Bank, whose monetary policy is based on a negative interest rate and foreign currency purchases, it was necessary to deepen its understanding of the market, refine its analytical tools and strengthen its market contacts.

If central banks exert a greater influence on financial market prices than previously, this could result in these prices becoming disconnected from the real economic environment, and only reacting to monetary policy. In fact, we observe that some traditional relationships and correlation patterns on the financial markets have changed in recent years. However, in addition to unconventional monetary policy measures, this is also due to the globalization of financial markets and parallel economic and price developments. Moreover, the phenomenon of interpreting bad news from the economy as good news for the markets already existed before the financial crisis, especially on the equity markets. The question of just how much the greater activity of central banks on the financial markets has changed the traditional price relationships and correlation patterns is difficult to answer definitively. Ultimately, financial market prices continue to reflect investor expectations for the future development of the economy and inflation. – Andréa M. Maechler, Member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank


A huge selloff on the global bond market has also seen money flow into the greenback, putting further pressure on other currencies. National Australia Bank foreign exchange strategists have forecast the Aussie dollar to drop towards US70c during 2017, and even lower in 2018.

The markets driven by Trump may be just about to have run their course for now. A rise in interest rates is, generally speaking, not good thing for stocks, especially for emerging markets. But if you think that US bond yields, which have been falling since 1982, may be bottoming out, that could mean the end of a low-growth/ low-inflation regime. – Toru Ohara, chief investment officer at Okasan Asset Management


The U.S. dollar is lower after Fischer of the Federal Reserve today said strength in the U.S. dollar will have a negative impact on exports. Longer term, however, the greenback will be underpinned by prospects of a fed funds rate increase at the Fed’s December meeting. Expect the U.S. dollar to remain firm in advance of the December 13-14 FOMC policy meeting.

Fortunately, the market consensus concerning the dollar’s continuing rise as US interest rates increase is almost certainly wrong, for three reasons.

  • First, the divergence of monetary policies between the US and other major economies is already universally understood. Thus, the interest-rate differential,  increase of US interest rate is already priced into currency values.
  • The widely assumed correlation between monetary policy and currency values does not stand up to empirical examination. In some cases, currencies move in the same direction as monetary policy – for example, when the yen dropped in response to the Bank of Japan’s 2013 quantitative easing.
  • Finally, monetary policy is not the only determinant of exchange rates. Trade deficits and surpluses also matter, as do stock-market and property valuations, the cyclical outlook for corporate profits, and positive or negative surprises for economic growth and inflation.




Mean Reversion Trading System

The first step in building such a system is to define what mean reversion is. Mean reversion systems are looking for markets that are unusually high or low and will eventually return back to the mean. We want a system that looks at a particular market with a significant deviation from their average. Our previous research we did on opening range breakout systems already showed us that opening range breakouts define the trend for the rest of the day in about 30% of the time. Which means that out of 20 trading days we have 14 days of price patterns that are reverting back to the mean.

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