Hawkish vs Dovish: How Monetary Policy Affects FX Trading

Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts

Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts
Hi guys,
I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert.
I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning.
When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts
Part I
  • Why it matters
  • Position sizing
  • Kelly
  • Using stops sensibly
  • Picking a clear level

Why it matters

The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.”
You have to keep it before you grow it.
Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around.
The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices.
Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.

Capital and position sizing

The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose.
Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market.
A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples.
So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000.
We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be?
We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator".

https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14
So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital.
You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk.
Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later.
The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work.
As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you.
Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints.
For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly:

https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b
To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you.
Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown.
It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance.
Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k.
Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money.
Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.

Kelly Criterion

If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number?
The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round.
This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet.
Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin.
Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips.
Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds.
Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this:
Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio
If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically.
If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss.
So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%.
Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit!
With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not.
Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account.
Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see.
This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders.
Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
  • How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
  • What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.

How to use stop losses sensibly

Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them.
A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter.
The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’.
This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK.
Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty.
You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter.
Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders.
A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not.
Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates
There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”.
It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong.
Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.

Picking a clear level

Where you leave your stop loss is key.
Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible.

If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop
You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200.
The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up.
Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD.

https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802
If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend.
So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level.
There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section.
There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high.

https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81
Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument.
Here are some guidelines that can help:
  1. Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
  2. Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
  3. Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out.
For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.

Coming up in part II

EDIT: part II here
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Risk:reward ratios
Risk-adjusted returns

Coming up in part III

Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Former investment bank FX trader: News trading and second order thinking part 2/2

Former investment bank FX trader: News trading and second order thinking part 2/2
Thanks for all the upvotes and comments on the previous pieces:
From the first half of the news trading note we learned some ways to estimate what is priced in by the market. We learned that we are trading any gap in market expectations rather than the result itself. A good result when the market expected a fantastic result is disappointing! We also looked at second order thinking. After all that, I hope the reaction of prices to events is starting to make more sense to you.

Before you understand the core concepts of pricing in and second order thinking, price reactions to events can seem mystifying at times
We'll add one thought-provoking quote. Keynes (that rare economist who also managed institutional money) offered this analogy. He compared selecting investments to a beauty contest in which newspaper readers would write in with their votes and win a prize if their votes most closely matched the six most popularly selected women across all readers:
It is not a case of choosing those (faces) which, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinions genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.
Trading is no different. You are trying to anticipate how other traders will react to news and how that will move prices. Perhaps you disagree with their reaction. Still, if you can anticipate what it will be you would be sensible to act upon it. Don't forget: meanwhile they are also trying to anticipate what you and everyone else will do.

Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The trimming position effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases

Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases

The majority of releases are quantitative. All that means is there’s some number. Like unemployment figures or GDP.
Historic results provide interesting context. We are looking below the Australian unemployment rate which is released monthly. If you plot it out a few years back you can spot a clear trend, which got massively reversed. Knowing this trend gives you additional information when the figure is released. In the same way prices can trend so do economic data.

A great resource that's totally free to use
This makes sense: if for example things are getting steadily better in the economy you’d expect to see unemployment steadily going down.
Knowing the trend and how much noise there is in the data gives you an informational edge over lazy traders.
For example, when we see the spike above 6% on the above you’d instantly know it was crazy and a huge trading opportunity since a) the fluctuations month on month are normally tiny and b) it is a huge reversal of the long-term trend.
Would all the other AUDUSD traders know and react proportionately? If not and yet they still trade, their laziness may be an opportunity for more informed traders to make some money.
Tradingeconomics.com offers really high quality analysis. You can see all the major indicators for each country. Clicking them brings up their history as well as an explanation of what they show.
For example, here’s German Consumer Confidence.

Helpful context
There are also qualitative events. Normally these are speeches by Central Bankers.
There are whole blogs dedicated to closely reading such texts and looking for subtle changes in direction or opinion on the economy. Stuff like how often does the phrase "in a good place" come up when the Chair of the Fed speaks. It is pretty dry stuff. Yet these are leading indicators of how each member may vote to set interest rates. Ed Yardeni is the go-to guy on central banks.

Data surprise index

The other thing you might look at is something investment banks produce for their customers. A data surprise index. I am not sure if these are available in retail land - there's no reason they shouldn't be but the economic calendars online are very basic.
You’ll remember we talked about data not being good or bad of itself but good or bad relative to what was expected. These indices measure this difference.
If results are consistently better than analysts expect then you’ll see a positive number. If they are consistently worse than analysts expect a negative number. You can see they tend to swing from positive to negative.

Mean reversion at its best! Data surprise indices measure how much better or worse data came in vs forecast
There are many theories for this but in general people consider that analysts herd around the consensus. They are scared to be outliers and look ‘wrong’ or ‘stupid’ so they instead place estimates close to the pack of their peers.
When economic conditions change they may therefore be slow to update. When they are wrong consistently - say too bearish - they eventually flip the other way and become too bullish.
These charts can be interesting to give you an idea of how the recent data releases have been versus market expectations. You may try to spot the turning points in macroeconomic data that drive long term currency prices and trends.

Using recent events to predict future reactions

The market reaction function is the most important thing on an economic calendar in many ways. It means: what will happen to the price if the data is better or worse than the market expects?
That seems easy to answer but it is not.
Consider the example of consumer confidence we had earlier.
  • Many times the market will shrug and ignore it.
  • But when the economic recovery is predicated on a strong consumer it may move markets a lot.
Or consider the S&P index of US stocks (Wall Street).
  • If you get good economic data that beats analyst estimates surely it should go up? Well, sometimes that is certainly the case.
  • But good economic data might result in the US Central Bank raising interest rates. Raising interest rates will generally make the stock market go down!
So better than expected data could make the S&P go up (“the economy is great”) or down (“the Fed is more likely to raise rates”). It depends. The market can interpret the same data totally differently at different times.
One clue is to look at what happened to the price of risk assets at the last event.
For example, let’s say we looked at unemployment and it came in a lot worse than forecast last month. What happened to the S&P back then?

2% drop last time on a 'worse than expected' number ... so it it is 'better than expected' best guess is we rally 2% higher
So this tells us that - at least for our most recent event - the S&P moved 2% lower on a far worse than expected number. This gives us some guidance as to what it might do next time and the direction. Bad number = lower S&P. For a huge surprise 2% is the size of move we’d expect.
Again - this is a real limitation of online calendars. They should show next to the historic results (expected/actual) the reaction of various instruments.

Buy the rumour, sell the fact

A final example of an unpredictable reaction relates to the old rule of ‘Buy the rumour, sell the fact.’ This captures the tendency for markets to anticipate events and then reverse when they occur.

Buy the rumour, sell the fact
In short: people take profit and close their positions when what they expected to happen is confirmed.
So we have to decide which driver is most important to the market at any point in time. You obviously cannot ask every participant. The best way to do it is to look at what happened recently. Look at the price action during recent releases and you will get a feel for how much the market moves and in which direction.

Trimming or taking off positions

One thing to note is that events sometimes give smart participants information about positioning. This is because many traders take off or reduce positions ahead of big news events for risk management purposes.
Imagine we see GBPUSD rises in the hour before GDP release. That probably indicates the market is short and has taken off / flattened its positions.

The price action before an event can tell you about speculative positioning
If GDP is merely in line with expectations those same people are likely to add back their positions. They avoided a potential banana skin. This is why sometimes the market moves on an event that seemingly was bang on consensus.
But you have learned something. The speculative market is short and may prove vulnerable to a squeeze.

Two kinds of reversals

Fairly often you’ll see the market move in one direction on a release then turn around and go the other way.
These are known as reversals. Traders will often ‘fade’ a move, meaning bet against it and expect it to reverse.

Logical reversals

Sometimes this happens when the data looks good at first glance but the details don’t support it.
For example, say the headline is very bullish on German manufacturing numbers but then a minute later it becomes clear the company who releases the data has changed methodology or believes the number is driven by a one-off event. Or maybe the headline number is positive but buried in the detail there is a very negative revision to previous numbers.
Fading the initial spike is one way to trade news. Try looking at what the price action is one minute after the event and thirty minutes afterwards on historic releases.

Crazy reversals


Some reversals don't make sense
Sometimes a reversal happens for seemingly no fundamental reason. Say you get clearly positive news that is better than anyone expects. There are no caveats to the positive number. Yet the price briefly spikes up and then falls hard. What on earth?
This is a pure supply and demand thing. Even on bullish news the market cannot sustain a rally. The market is telling you it wants to sell this asset. Try not to get in its way.

Some key releases

As we have already discussed, different releases are important at different times. However, we’ll look at some consistently important ones in this final section.

Interest rates decisions

These can sometimes be unscheduled. However, normally the decisions are announced monthly. The exact process varies for each central bank. Typically there’s a headline decision e.g. maintain 0.75% rate.
You may also see “minutes” of the meeting in which the decision was reached and a vote tally e.g. 7 for maintain, 2 for lower rates. These are always top-tier data releases and have capacity to move the currency a lot.
A hawkish central bank (higher rates) will tend to move a currency higher whilst a dovish central bank (lower rates) will tend to move a currency lower.
A central banker speaking is always a big event

Non farm payrolls

These are released once per month. This is another top-tier release that will move all USD pairs as well as equities.
There are three numbers:
  • The headline number of jobs created (bigger is better)
  • The unemployment rate (smaller is better)
  • Average hourly earnings (depends)
Bear in mind these headline numbers are often off by around 75,000. If a report comes in +/- 25,000 of the forecast, that is probably a non event.
In general a positive response should move the USD higher but check recent price action.
Other countries each have their own unemployment data releases but this is the single most important release.

Surveys

There are various types of surveys: consumer confidence; house price expectations; purchasing managers index etc.
Each one basically asks a group of people if they expect to make more purchases or activity in their area of expertise to rise. There are so many we won’t go into each one here.
A really useful tool is the tradingeconomics.com economic indicators for each country. You can see all the major indicators and an explanation of each plus the historic results.

GDP

Gross Domestic Product is another big release. It is a measure of how much a country’s economy is growing.
In general the market focuses more on ‘advance’ GDP forecasts more than ‘final’ numbers, which are often released at the same time.
This is because the final figures are accurate but by the time they come around the market has already seen all the inputs. The advance figure tends to be less accurate but incorporates new information that the market may not have known before the release.
In general a strong GDP number is good for the domestic currency.

Inflation

Countries tend to release measures of inflation (increase in prices) each month. These releases are important mainly because they may influence the future decisions of the central bank, when setting the interest rate.
See the FX fundamentals section for more details.

Industrial data

Things like factory orders or or inventory levels. These can provide a leading indicator of the strength of the economy.
These numbers can be extremely volatile. This is because a one-off large order can drive the numbers well outside usual levels.
Pay careful attention to previous releases so you have a sense of how noisy each release is and what kind of moves might be expected.

Comments

Often there is really good stuff in the comments/replies. Check out 'squitstoomuch' for some excellent observations on why some news sources are noisy but early (think: Twitter, ZeroHedge). The Softbank story is a good recent example: was in ZeroHedge a day before the FT but the market moved on the FT. Also an interesting comment on mistakes, which definitely happen on breaking news, and can cause massive reversals.

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Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant.
However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.

SUMMARY

When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy

ARTICLE

Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

INTRODUCTION

My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed.
International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter.
The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US.
The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.

OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION

Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000).
The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914.
Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels.
Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm.
The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism.
As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms
NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.

BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA

According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
  1. Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
  2. Provisions to protect IP
  3. Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
  4. Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
This grouping of conditions is similar to the points filled under the 301 investigation which serve the basis for initiating the tariffs. I have been reading some sources that say this discussion on this second group of broader issues could only be finalized later
The official justifications for placing the tariffs on Chinese goods is found under the March 2018 investigation submitted by the office of the President to Congress titled FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO CHINA’S ACTS, POLICIES, AND PRACTICES RELATED TO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND INNOVATION UNDER SECTION 301 OF THE TRADE ACT OF 1974. From this investigation the United States Trade Representative (USTR) place US Tariffs on Chinese goods as per Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Here is a press release by the USTR listing the reasons for placing tariffs, and the key section from the press release. Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations.
I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO.
WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT.
The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule.
In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak.
Here is the commitment paragraph for China
"The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. "
This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics.
NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.

REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH

I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
  1. The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
  2. You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
  3. China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
  4. Dealing with China, its a no win situation whether you use a tough multilateral / unilateral approach. If the US endorse a tough unilateral approach gives the impression that the US is acting like the British during the Opium War. If you take a concerted Western approach you are accused of acting like the 8 Powers Alliance in 1900.
  5. Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
  6. China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
To his credit, Trump has said his aim was not to overthrow authoritarian governments, and that even applies to the likes of Iran. The Arab spring scared Russia and China, because the US for a brief moment placed the spread of democracy over its security interest.

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE US MAKES DECISIONS REGARDING CHINA

At this moment, China or the trade war isn't an area of great concern for the American public, among international issues it ranks lower than international terrorism, North Korea and Iran's nuclear program.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access.
Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress.
THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA
I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes.
Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English.
Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic,
IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT
From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
This is supported by remarks by Henry Paulson and Charlene Barshefsky. As Paulson remarked
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box.
So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure:
In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.

CONTINUED

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What Is Forex?

What Is Forex?

A New Era

Although it might seem easy to invest in Forex nowadays, by just logging into an account with a broker, deposit some money and start actively trading; it has not always been like this, as forex industry has rapidly changed in the past three decades.
Before technology and free-floating currencies took over the industry, world currency exchanges were operating under the Bretton Woods System of Money Management. This agreement established rules for commercial and financial relations among top economies, tying their currencies to gold. Hence, a currency note issued by any world government represented a real amount of gold held in a vault by that nation. When in July 1944 delegates from all over the world sign off the pact, the main goal was to reduce lack of cooperation between countries and therefore avoiding currency wars. This process of regulating the foreign exchange brought to the foundation of the international money fund (IMF) and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), today part of World bank Group.
However, in the early 70s the real-world economics outpaced the system, dollar suffered from severe inflation cutting its value by half. At that time unemployment rate was 6.1% and inflation 5.84%. Finally, in August 1971, U.S. government led by Richard Nixon took away gold standard, creating the first fiat currency and replacing Bretton Woods System with De Facto. Together with this there were other important measures taken by the USA president to combat that high inflation regime:
  1. This decision was driven by many European nations asking to redeem their dollars for gold, till leaving Bretton Woods System. This had an enormous impact on USD which plunged against European currencies. Consequently, USA congress release a report suggesting USD devaluation to protect the currency from foreign gougers. However, dollar dropped again, and Treasury Secretary was directed to suspend the USD convertibility with gold; hence foreign governments could no longer exchange their USD with gold.
  2. The inflation level was skyrocketing and one more action taken by Nixon was to freeze all wages and prices for 90 days, this was the first time since WWII.
  3. Import surcharge of 10% was set up to safeguard American products ensuring no disadvantage in trades.
Today, USD dominates financial markets, accounting together with the EURO, for approximately 50% of all currency exchange transactions in the world.
1971 represents the beginning of a new forex trading era, bringing this market to be the largest and most liquid in the world, with an average of daily trading volume exceeding $5trn. All the world’s combined stock markets don t even come close to this, what does this mean to you?
In an environment which is controlled by free-floating currencies moving constantly, following principles of supply and demand, there are constant and exciting trading opportunities, unavailable when investing in different markets.
In this article are shared main features of what is forex trading today and how can be an incredible new source of income for everyone who is into financial markets.

What Is Forex?

Forex is the acronym for foreign exchange which intends to be a decentralized or over the counter (OTC) marketplace, where currencies from all over the world are traded 24 hours, five days a week. Main financial centres include New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Frankfurt for Eurozone. It is by far the largest market in the world in terms of volume, followed by the credit market. Being highly liquid is an important feature that allows traders to be able to enter and exit their positions very quickly. Nevertheless, while trading forex, an investor should be aware of several components:
Dynamicity – forex is an extremely fast environment, this means that currency rates can move very fast, influenced by price action signals and fundamental factors. Therefore, going into forex trading, one needs to be aware of adopting serious risk and money management strategies in order to be effective, limiting losses.
Zero Sum Game – trading forex is not like investing in the stock market but is known to be a zero-sum game. For example, going into the equity market buying some tech shares, they could both rise or decrease in value. In forex is different because currencies work in pairs; for instance, an investor decides Euro will go up he or she is doing it against another currency. Thus, in this specific marketplace one currency will rise while the other will fall, meaning an investor is buying the currency hoping it will appreciate to the other, or selling the one that will depreciate.
See image below:
Figure 1: Main traded currency pairs
https://preview.redd.it/vu77ziuoyle31.png?width=574&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b1693bf27508fcb142705c309de1fc5b3e8fa19
Currency pairs are composed by a base and a price currency. Main forex trading principle is how much price currency an investor can buy using 1 unit of the base, thus, the base currency, which is the first one in line within the quotation, is always equal to 1.
Because like every financial instrument currency pairs are driven by fundamentals of supply and demand, forex is intensively influenced by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors.
Capital Markets – these are the most visible indicators of a country economic health, where usually the healthier the economy the stronger the currency. For example, a rapid sell-off from a country will show that nation is not economically stable, subsequently investors will think negatively of it depreciating its currency.
Moreover, many countries are sector driven, this means that their currencies are strictly correlated with certain resources. For instance, Canada which is a commodity-based market, CAD is strictly linked to price of Brent and metals, a swing in those will affect the Canadian currency.
Finally, credit market is also connected to forex since also relies heavily on interest rate so, a change in bond yield will have major impact on currency prices. like increase in yield will favour bullish market for USD
International Trade – Trade levels serve as a proxy for relative demand of goods from a nation, a country which goods and services that are in high demand internationally, will experience an appreciation to its currency. This is an effect driven by all other countries converting their currencies into the one of that state to purchase its goods and services. Let’s say a product from USA is in high demand globally, all the other countries must sell their currencies to buy dollars to then see their goods shipped, thus USD will appreciate.
Trade surplus and deficit also indicate a nation competitive standing in international trade. Countries with a large trade deficit are usually importers resulting in more of their currencies being sold to buy goods worldwide, thus they will see their currencies devaluate.
Geopolitics – The political landscape of a nation places a major role in the economic outlook for that country and consequently, the perceived value of its own currency. Beside building up price action strategies, based purely on price levels, forex traders constantly look at economic calendars and news to gauge what could move currencies. A geopolitical event which is having a great impact on GBP, is the election of Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, driving the local currency to 2 years low, yesterday 29th of July 2019. Therefore, when investors observe instability from a nation political environment, there are high chances that the currency of that country will depreciate.

Why Trading Forex

Beside swapping from a gold standard to free-floating, which change the whole forex trading game, technology is another crucial factor that helped this financial sector to spread globally. With the introduction of internet in the 90s forex opened to retail investors giving access to various trading platforms. The introduction of online platforms and retail investments have increased forex market volume by 5%, up to $250bn of its daily turnover. Different traders may have different reasons for selecting forex, however, mostly is because this is a fertile market plenty of daily opportunities to gauge price action and profit from it.

Volatility

How traders profit from trading forex? Basics of trading are rather simple to understand. An investor buys an asset at a certain price hoping to get rid of it for a higher price. The more volatile is the market for that specific financial instrument, the more revenue is possible to make. Therefore, a trader is looking for long up and down moves rather than market fluctuating sideways.
Volatility is great in forex and a trader can expect to regularly see prices oscillating 50-100 pips on major currency pairs almost any day of the week. Yet again, due to this enormous constant fluctuation, potential losses or gains can be very high thus, rigours money management must be applied to avoid major damages and become a profitable trader. To conclude, volatility is the main characteristic investors are looking at and that is why it is one of the main feature traders can take advantage.
See image below:

Figure 2: FDAX Volatility, H4 (30th May 2019, 16:00, 30th July 2019, 16:00)

Accessibility & Technology

While volatility is the most important element out in the market that tell us why forex is the best market to trade, accessibility comes straight after. This market is more accessible than all the others, trading forex requires an online desk position and as little as $100 to start off an account.
In comparison with the other financial markets, forex requires a rather low trading capital. Moreover, trading forex can be easily accessible from your PC, tablet or mobile since most of retail broker firms operate online. Although, accessibility cannot tell the quality of the market by itself, it definitely shows a reason why many investors try their first trading experience on forex.
Also, the rapid introduction of technology since the 90s, made trading much easier. There are every year more advanced online platforms to trade on with many possible updates and that is why trading forex is edging for many global investors.

Forex Players

Before the introduction of free-floating currency and more importantly cutting hedge technology, forex was a market that could have been traded only by institutional investors. Nowadays however, even retail and individual investor can take advantage of the huge volume forex offers every day.
Banks
Interbank market is the major responsible for the high volume registered daily in forex. This is the place where banks exchange currency among each other, facilitating forex transactions for customers and speculate for their trading desks.
  • Clients transactions: in this case banks of all size act as dealer for clients, where the bid-ask spread represents the profit for the institutions.
  • Speculation: currencies are traded to profit from their price fluctuations as well as to increase diversification on their portfolio
Because banking institutions are the biggest players in foreign exchange market, they are able to push up and down the price of currencies giving an extreme advantage and higher volatility to individual traders who are trying to gauge price moves.
Central Banks
Central banks representing their nation’s government, are crucial in forex. They oversee monetary and fiscal policies having massive influence on currency rates. A central bank is responsible for fixing the price level of its native currency on the market, in other words they take care of the regime currencies will float in the open market.
  • Floating: these are the currencies which price floats on the open market based on principles of supply and demand relative to other currencies
  • Pegged (fixed exchange rate): opposite to floating currencies pegged ones are not free-floating in the open market however, their government rather tie them to the value of a stronger foreign currency. Pegged currencies are more seen in developing countries (CYN to USD).
Because central banks manage interest rates in order to increase the competitiveness of their native nation to another.
  • Dovish: these policies will be lowering down interest rates. A central bank which applies dovish conditions aims to give economic stimulus and guard against deflation. Usually a policy intended to give economy stimulus will weakening the currency value.
  • Hawkish: on the other hand, hawkish policies lead to an increase in interest rate. A central bank that uses hawkish measures aims to reduce inflation. Typically, this kind of policies will reinforce the country currency value.
Investment Managers & Hedge Funds
Portfolio managers and hedge funds are the second investors in forex after central and investment banks. They are hired by huge institutions such as pension to manage their assets. However while portfolio managers of pool funds will buy currency to speculate on foreign securities, hedge funds execute speculative trades as part of their strategies.
Corporations
Also international corporation play a big role in forex. Those firms operating globally, buying and selling goods and services are involved in forex transactions daily. Imagine an American company producing pipes that imports Japanese components and sell the finished product to China. After the sale is closed the CYN must be converted back to USD, while the American company must exchange USD into JPY to repay for the components supply.
Moreover, company involved in international trade have an interest in forex in order to hedge the risk associated with currencies fluctuations making several foreign exchange transactions. For instance, the same American company might buy JPY at spot rate, or enter a swap agreement to obtain JPY in advance, overtaking the risk of the Japanese currency to rise in the future. Therefore, forex become crucial to run companies with many subsidiaries and suppliers all over the word.
Individual & Retail Investors
Even though this investor cluster brings to forex a very limited volume compared to financial institutions and corporations, it is rapidly growing in numbers and popularity. These base their trades on a mixture of fundamentals and technical analysis.
Bottom line, main reason why forex is the most traded market in the world is because gives everyone, from top financial institutions to retail and individual trades, opportunities to make returns on capital invested from currencies price fluctuations related to global economy.
submitted by Horizon_Trading to u/Horizon_Trading [link] [comments]

Stock Market Week Ahead for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019 (News, Earnings, etc.)

Hey what's up stocks! Good morning and happy Sunday to all of you on this subreddit. I hope everyone made out pretty decent last week in the market, and are ready for the new trading week ahead! :)
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019.

Jobs report removes some fear, but market still in 'tug of war' over how much growth is slowing - (Source)

After January's strong jobs report calmed some recession fears, investors will be picking through the next wave of earnings reports and economic data for clues on just how much the U.S. economy could be slowing.
Dozens of earnings, from companies like Alphabet, Disney and Eli Lily, report in the week ahead, and there are just a few economic reports like trade data and ISM services on Tuesday. Investors will also be watching the outcome of Treasury auctions for $84 billion in Treasury notes and bonds Tuesday through Thursday, after the Fed's dovish tone helped put a lid on interest rates in the past week.
Nearly half the S&P 500 companies had reported for the fourth quarter by Friday morning, and 71 percent beat earnings estimates, while 62 percent have beaten revenue estimates. But earnings growth forecasts for the first quarter continue to decline as more companies report, and they are currently barely breaking even at under 1 percent growth, versus the 15 percent growth in the fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv.
"Granted the more we hear from companies, and particularly in terms of their guidance and projections on revenues, things can slowly change. The first thing companies do is they stop spending money. Cap spending slows down, and if revenue growth does not pick up, they let people go. This is still wait and see," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Krosby said the 304,000 jobs added in January did ease some concerns about a slowing economy, as did a stronger than expected ISM manufacturing report Friday. But the view of the first quarter is still unclear, as many economic reports were missed during the government shutdown. Economists expect growth in the first quarter of just above 2 percent, after growth of about 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Stocks closed out January with a sharp gain on Thursday, and started February on Friday on a flattish note. The S&P 500 has rebounded about 15 percent from its Dec. 24 closing low. Last month's 7.9 percent gain was the best performance for January in more than 30 years. The old Wall Street adage says 'so goes January, so goes the year.' If that holds, stocks could finish 2019 higher. But February is another story, and on average, it is a flat month for the S&P 500.
"The tug of war that you saw in the market, that was going on in the last half of last year is playing out in the data. Some of the data is a bit lower, but some of the economic surprises are picking up to the upside rather than downside," said Krosby.
Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group, said the ISM may have improved but it reflected very low exports and flat backlogs, even though there was a snap back in new orders.
"I would fade the jobs report," said Boockvar, noting the level of growth may have been inflated by government workers taking on part-time jobs during the government shutdown.
Boocvkar said the jobs report also looked strong on the surface, but he's concerned the unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent.
"The question of whether we go into a recession or not is how does the stock market affect confidence?" Boockvar said. Confidence readings in the past week were low, and consumer sentiment Friday was its lowest since before President Donald Trump took office.
Krosby said stocks could test recent lows or put in a higher low. If there's a big selloff, "That would not necessarily mean it was a clue a recession is coming. It's just a normal testing mechanism," she said.
The Fed removed a big concern from the markets in the past week, when its post-meeting statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's briefing tilted dovish, assuring markets the Fed would pause in its interest rate hiking. Investors had feared the Fed would hurt the softening economy with its rate hikes. Now, the biggest fears are about the trade war between the U.S. and China and slowing Chinese growth.
The jobs report, and the ISM manufacturing data were also important because the lack of data during the government's 35 day shutdown has left gaps in the economic picture.
"This is really a sign the Fed stole the thunder from the economic data. By saying they're patient plasters over any kind of economic data in the near term, and I suspect the near term lasts through the first quarter because of the government shutdown, the weather, weak GDP," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.
Chandler said the markets will be hanging on any news on the trade talks with China. "Even if it's not the all encompassing trade deal we were promised, it's a return to where we were before with China promising to buy energy and farm products. We'll continue to have some kind of talks with the China, like we had under Obama and Bush," said Chandler.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #2!)

Now What?

What a year it has been. After the worst December for stocks in 87 years that contributed to the worst fourth quarter since the 2008–09 financial crisis, stocks have bounced back in spectacular fashion. In fact, with a day to go, stocks are looking at their best first month of the year in 30 years.
What could happen next? “We like to say that the easy 10% has been made off the lows and the next 10% will be much tougher,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Things like Fed policy, China uncertainty, and overall global growth concerns all will play a part in where equity markets go from here.”
With the S&P 500 Index about 10% away from new highs, we do think new highs are quite possible at some point this year. Positive news from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and China trade talks, as well as the realization by investors that the odds of a recession in 2019 are quite low could spark potential new highs. Remember, fiscal spending as a percentage of overall gross domestic product (GDP) is higher this year than it was last year. Many think the tax cut and fiscal policies in play last year were a one-time sugar high. We don’t see it that way and expect the benefits from fiscal policy to help extend this economic cycle at least another year—likely more.
As we head into February, note that it hasn’t been one of the best months for stocks. In fact, as our LPL Chart of the Day shows, since 1950, February has been virtually flat, and over the past 20 years only June and September have shown worse returns. Overall, the market gains have been quite impressive since the December 24 lows, but we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a near-term consolidation or pullback.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

A Fed Pause and the Flattening Yield Curve

Investors have increasingly positioned for a Federal Reserve (Fed) pause, which could portend a shift in fixed income markets. Fed fund futures are pricing in about a 70% probability that the Fed will keep rates unchanged for the rest of 2019, and the market’s dovish tilt has weighed on short-term rates.
As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 2-year yield has typically followed the fed funds rate since policymakers began raising rates in December 2015. While we expect one or two more hikes this cycle, there is a possibility that the Fed’s December hike was its last, which will likely cap short-term rates.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Short-term yields have outpaced longer-term yields over the past few years, flattening the yield curve and raising concerns that U.S. economic progress may not be able to keep up with the Fed’s tightening. The spread between the 2-year and 10-year yield has fallen negative before every single U.S. recession since 1970.
If the Fed pauses, the curve will likely reverse course and steepen as solid economic growth and quickening (but manageable) inflation drives longer-term yields higher. As mentioned in our Outlook 2019, FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, we’re forecasting the 10-year Treasury yield will increase significantly from current levels and trade within a range of 3.25–3.75% in 2019.
“We remain optimistic about U.S. economic growth prospects, and recent data show inflation remains at manageable levels,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “Because of this, we expect the data-dependent Fed to be less aggressive than initially feared, as policymakers juggle these factors with the impacts of trade tensions and tepid global growth.”
To be clear, investors shouldn’t fear a flattening yield curve given the backdrop of solid economic growth and modest inflation. Historically, the yield curve has remained relatively flat or inverted for years before some recessions started. Since 1970, the United States has entered a recession an average of 21 months after the yield curve inverted.

Jobless Claims’ Historic Significance

Jobless claims have dropped to a 49-year low. Based on historical trends, this could signal that a U.S. economic recession is further off than many expect.
Data released January 24 showed jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest number since 1969 and far below consensus estimates of 218K. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, current jobless claims have been significantly lower than those in the 12-month periods preceding each recession since the early 1970s.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Jobless claims have fallen out of the spotlight as the economic cycle has matured, but they could prove important again as investors’ recessionary fears increase. While most labor-market data serve as lagging indicators of U.S. economic health, jobless claims are a leading indicator. Historically, a 75–100K increase in claims over a 26-week period has been associated with a recession.
“Last week’s jobless claims print was particularly impressive given the partial government shutdown and weakening corporate sentiment,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “The U.S. labor market remains strong and will help buoy consumer health and output growth this year.”
Other predictive data sets have signaled U.S. recessionary odds are low. Data last week showed the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), based on 10 leading economic indicators (like jobless claims, manufacturers’ new orders, and stock prices), grew 4.3% year over year in December. In contrast, the LEI has turned negative year over year before all economic recessions since 1970. Because of its solid predictive ability, the LEI is a component of our Recession Watch Dashboard.

Best S&P January Since 1987

Most major U.S. stock indexes rallied to new recovery and year-to-date highs today shrugging off some misses and weakness from Microsoft, DuPont and Visa. S&P 500 finished the month strong with a 7.9% gain. This is the best S&P January since 1987. This is also the third January Trifecta in a row.
Last year the S&P 500 crumbled in the fourth quarter under the weight of triple threats from a hawkish and confusing Fed, a newly divided Congress and the U.S. trade battle with China, finishing in the red. 2017’s Trifecta was followed by a full-year gain of 19.4%, including a February-December gain of 17.3%. As you can see in the table below, the long term track record of the Trifecta is rather impressive, posting full-year gains in 27 of the 30 prior years with an average gain for the S&P 500 of 17.1%.
Devised by Yale Hirsch in 1972, the January Barometer has registered ten major errors since 1950 for an 85.5% accuracy ratio. This indicator adheres to propensity that as the S&P 500 goes in January, so goes the year. Of the ten major errors Vietnam affected 1966 and 1968. 1982 saw the start of a major bull market in August. Two January rate cuts and 9/11 affected 2001.The market in January 2003 was held down by the anticipation of military action in Iraq. The second worst bear market since 1900 ended in March of 2009 and Federal Reserve intervention influenced 2010 and 2014. In 2016, DJIA slipped into an official Ned Davis bear market in January. Including the eight flat years yields a .739 batting average.
Our January Indicator Trifecta combines the Santa Claus Rally, the First Five Days Early Warning System and our full-month January Barometer. The predicative power of the three is considerably greater than any of them alone; we have been rather impressed by its forecasting prowess. This is the 31st time since 1949 that all three January Indicators have been positive and the twelfth time (previous eleven times highlighted in grey in table below) this has occurred in a pre-election year.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
With the Fed turning more dovish and President Trump tacking to the center and meeting with China and market internals improving along with the gains, the market is tracking Base Case and Best Case scenarios outlined in our 2019 Annual Forecast. Next eleven month and full-year 2019 performance is expected to be more in line with typical Pre-Election returns.

February Almanac: Small-Caps Tend to Outperform

Even though February is right in the middle of the Best Six Months, its long-term track record, since 1950, is not all that stellar. February ranks no better than seventh and has posted paltry average gains except for the Russell 2000. Small cap stocks, benefiting from “January Effect” carry over; tend to outpace large cap stocks in February. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks turns in an average gain of 1.1% in February since 1979—just the seventh best month for that benchmark.
In pre-election years, February’s performance generally improves with average returns all positive. NASDAQ performs best, gaining an average 2.8% in pre-election-year Februarys since 1971. Russell 2000 is second best, averaging gains of 2.5% since 1979. DJIA, S&P 500 and Russell 1000, the large-cap indices, tend to lag with average advances of around 1.0%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

5% Months

7%? Bulls will take it! After an abysmal December, the S&P 500 is currently set to finish the month with its best January return since 1987. This month’s gain will mark the 16th time since the lows of the Financial Crisis in March 2009 that the S&P 500 has rallied more than 5% in a given month. The table below highlights each of the 15 prior months where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% and shows how much the S&P 500 gained on the month as well as its performance on the last trading day of the month and the first trading day of the subsequent month.
When looking at the table, a few things stand out. First, the first trading day of a month that follows a month where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% has been extremely positive as the S&P 500 averages a gain of 0.84% (median: 1.01%) with positive returns 13 out of 15 times! In addition to the positive tendency of markets on the first day of the new month, there has also been a clear tendency for the S&P 500 to decline on the last trading day of the strong month. The average decline on the last trading day of a strong month has been 0.09% with positive returns less than half of the time. This is no doubt related to the fact that funds are forced to rebalance out of equities to get back inline with their benchmark weights. However, on those five prior months where the S&P 500 bucked the trend and was positive on the last trading day of a 5%+ month, the average gain on the first trading day of the next month was even stronger at 1.52% with gains five out of six times.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for February 1st, 2019

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 2.3.19

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)
Here are the most notable companies reporting earnings in this upcoming trading month ahead-
  • $GOOGL
  • $TWTR
  • $SNAP
  • $CLF
  • $TTWO
  • $ALXN
  • $DIS
  • $BP
  • $CLX
  • $SYY
  • $GM
  • $GILD
  • $CMG
  • $GRUB
  • $EA
  • $STX
  • $SPOT
  • $AMG
  • $SAIA
  • $RL
  • $CNC
  • $EL
  • $UFI
  • $GLUU
  • $MTSC
  • $JOUT
  • $PM
  • $GPRO
  • $LITE
  • $FEYE
  • $SWKS
  • $LLY
  • $MPC
  • $BDX
  • $REGN
  • $VIAB
  • $ONVO
  • $HUM
  • $ARRY
  • $PBI
  • $ADM
  • $BSAC
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S BIGGEST DECLINE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST INCREASE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 2.4.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Monday 2.4.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Thursday 2.7.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)

Thursday 2.7.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Friday 2.8.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 2.8.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Alphabet, Inc. -

Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $11.08 per share on revenue of $31.28 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $11.03 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 14.23% with revenue decreasing by 3.23%. Short interest has decreased by 6.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1,127.05. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 24, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,493 contracts of the $1,200.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Twitter, Inc. $33.19

Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.25 per share on revenue of $871.59 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 38.89% with revenue increasing by 19.14%. Short interest has decreased by 54.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.1% below its 200 day moving average of $34.24. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, December 31, 2018 there was some notable buying of 45,575 contracts of the $34.00 call expiring on Friday, March 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 13.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Snap Inc. $6.91

Snap Inc. (SNAP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $376.64 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.04) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 31% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $355.00 million to $380.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.27% with revenue increasing by 31.83%. Short interest has decreased by 1.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 12.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 33.6% below its 200 day moving average of $10.40. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 3, 2019 there was some notable buying of 29,739 contracts of the $7.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 15.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 19.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc $10.53

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (CLF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Friday, February 8, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.57 per share on revenue of $713.61 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.63 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 87% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 119.23% with revenue increasing by 18.76%. Short interest has increased by 4.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.2% above its 200 day moving average of $9.47. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, January 7, 2019 there was some notable buying of 10,030 contracts of the $8.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. $104.95

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.72 per share on revenue of $1.46 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.82 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 84% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.31 to $0.41 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 106.06% with revenue increasing by 203.64%. Short interest has increased by 37.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 18.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.9% below its 200 day moving average of $116.52. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,067 contracts of the $120.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. $126.28

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:35 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.82 per share on revenue of $1.06 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.95 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 67% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 23.81% with revenue increasing by 16.52%. Short interest has decreased by 16.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.8% above its 200 day moving average of $119.40. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,235 contracts of the $130.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.5% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Walt Disney Co $111.30

Walt Disney Co (DIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.57 per share on revenue of $15.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.62 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 16.93% with revenue decreasing by 1.11%. Short interest has increased by 7.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 5.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.9% above its 200 day moving average of $109.22. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 8,822 contracts of the $110.00 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

BP p.l.c $41.34

BP p.l.c (BP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:25 AM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $60.72 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.75 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.31% with revenue decreasing by 13.28%. Short interest has increased by 6.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.9% below its 200 day moving average of $43.01. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,010 contracts of the $33.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

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Clorox Co. $149.86

Clorox Co. (CLX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.32 per share on revenue of $1.48 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.32% with revenue increasing by 4.52%. Short interest has decreased by 9.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.9% above its 200 day moving average of $141.57. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, January 18, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,025 contracts of the $152.50 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.3% move in recent quarters.

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SYSCO Corp. $63.57

SYSCO Corp. (SYY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.72 per share on revenue of $14.85 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.73 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.09% with revenue increasing by 3.04%. Short interest has decreased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 2.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.6% below its 200 day moving average of $67.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,691 contracts of the $66.00 call expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.8% move in recent quarters.

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DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week ahead?
Have a fantastic Sunday and a great trading week ahead to all here on stocks! ;)
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Forex trading - Psychological Issues And How To Overcome Them What are Forex Fundamentals and How do they affect the market? Why FX Traders Never Stop Learning Best Forex Price Action Breakout Tutorial EUR/USD and GBP/USD Forecast October 23, 2017 easyMarkets - Hot Topic - FOMC and the Impact on Forex Trading What are your trading comfort levels like?

Keep reading to learn more about hawkish and dovish policies and how to apply this knowledge to your forex trades. What does hawkish mean? The term hawkish is used to describe contractionary What does “dovish” mean? Adopting a "dovish" monetary policy stance means to favor stimulating economic growth and employment instead of monetary restraint. Therefore, a "dovish" position often implies favoring interest rate cuts and signaling further reductions in the interest rate. Is hawkish bullish? Usually, yes. In the context of Beginner traders may still be unfamiliar with the two terms above and are confused about what dovish and hawkish mean. Both of these terms are closely related to each other and need to be well understood by traders. In this discussion, we will explain to you all about the complete Dovish and Hawkish terms. What Does The Term Hawkish Mean In Forex Trading is actually the best everything brought out this 7 days. Given that telling it is unparelled conception, altered additionally now accommodated simply no in excess of by yourself. Hawkish and Dovish are two crucial words widely used in our industry whenever there are central bank speeches or talks about monetary policies. But what does it mean? Central banks are more transparent than ever and forex analysts or traders try to dissect the overall tone and language used when central bankers speak to see: How the economy is flaring; How interest Rate will change or foresee This adjective originates from the word ‘Hawk’ – a strong, decisive bird - which has an analogy with the term ‘hawkish’ in the world of Forex. It refers to the tone of voice the Central Bank chooses when speaking about inflation. In case of the hawkish policy, radical measures will be taken to heighten interest rates. The hawkish policy aims at slowing down economic growth What Hawkish and Dovish Mean in Monetary Policy and Trading. If you have a hard time remembering what hawkish and dovish mean, then this post is for you. I will give you the definition of each and also give you an easy way to remember how each affects the economy of a country, the central bank interest rates and the strength of that country's

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Forex trading - Psychological Issues And How To Overcome Them

A good sign that you are not growing as a trader is when you think you've got it all figured out. ---- We interpret and explain price moves in real-time, 24 hours a day. Our team of analysts ... If that’s the case, the pattern would signify that we could perhaps drop as low as 1.13 underneath, and this makes sense if Donald Trump does in fact nominate a hawkish Federal Reserve Chairman ... In this week’s complimentary lesson we will cover 3 important factors relating to Forex fundamentals. 1) What does it mean to be Hawkish or Dovish 2) What is the driving force behind interest ... What are your trading comfort levels like? We very often will feel either optimistic or pessimistic towards a trade at outset but what does it mean? Trader M... The psychological stress in forex is one of the main things that holds your profits back and the most simple answer to it is confidence. Imagine that you are a technical trader and you are looking ... • Everyone will be on the lookout for whether the comments are hawkish or dovish • Last month’s meeting had some conservatively positive words “near term risks to the economic outlook have ... This means I am prepared for most options and this gives me a distinct advantage over most traders. My trade setup here is wait for price to pull back before entering short.

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