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The Art of Not Trading

With the holiday season lingering on and a new year on the cusp of arrival, traders may glance at the calendar and notice there is not much economic news to anticipate on Friday to cap off a light week. In situations like these where there can be lulls in bullish and bearish momentum due to a lack of fundamental catalysts, it can be helpful to remember that abstaining from trading is often its own discipline. With this in mind, let’s consider three ways traders can be productive during bouts of time where financial markets may not yield many trade setups. After all, the art of not trading is hard to navigate, but is essential for remaining profitable.

1) Rest

The Art of Not Trading

This may seem obvious or cliché at face value; however, guaranteeing meaningful rest for yourself is of the utmost importance when it comes to excelling in any skill. Just as athletes and manual laborers need rest days so that their muscles can adequately repair, time off from purely mental activities like trading is crucial for avoiding burnout and preventing recklessness. Besides simply making an effort to spend time away from the trading environment, ensuring a certain quality of rest can be quite helpful as well. Whether that means indulging in some extra sleep, spending time with old friends, exercising at the gym, or making time for an often-neglected hobby, good rest takes many forms for everyone. Whatever that happens to be for you, fitting restfulness into your lifestyle truly is an aspect of healthy trading, not a departure from it.

2) Backtest

The Art of Not Trading

Because trading is a game of risk management and probabilities, setting aside time for pouring over historical data can be of great benefit when it comes to exploring a strategy. Whether you are considering implementing a brand-new approach or polishing a formula you judge to be tried-and-true, subjecting any strategy to backtesting is always time well spent. For those interested in learning more about how to backtest, feel free to watch this video and much more from A1 Trading’s YouTube channel, and explore a selection of Metatrader Trading Software offered here.

3) Read

The Art of Not Trading

It often appears to be the case that many retail traders fall into the trap of over-relying on technical analysis over fundamental analysis. While reading charts and utilizing technical indicators can be incredibly helpful, it is important to remember that currencies, equities, and commodities are real things with actual value, and that their worth is not reducible to patterns on a screen. Investing your time in conducting fundamental analysis, such as reading up on the economic performance of the host country of a currency you trade or keeping up with news about the geopolitical tensions influencing a commodity’s availability, can be illuminating. By making an effort to understand the nuances of a particular currency pair or other asset, you may find that your biases as a trader grow more nuanced as well. For those interested in using a market scanner that offers supplemental fundamental analysis, the EdgeFinder is fantastic.

Best Currency to Buy?

As the fiscal year comes to a close, consumers will likely finish shopping for the holidays, and traders and investors will get some respite thanks to a long weekend due to bank holidays around the world. While concerns about further stock market selloffs may be lingering in the minds of some, a promising set of assets is likely flying under most retail traders’ radar: Kiwi Dollar pairs. NZD has retained incredible strength in recent months, owed primarily to a remarkable New Zealand economy and a hawkish central bank; despite few bits of recent or upcoming news that could become fundamental catalysts, the New Zealand Dollar remains highly esteemed by the EdgeFinder. As we consider trade setups for the near future, it is worth asking: could NZD currently be the best currency to buy?

Three Pairs to Watch

According to the EdgeFinder, which provides nuanced supplemental analysis for traders, some of the pairs that earn the strongest biases are still NZD pairs. For those who are bullish on the Kiwi Dollar and interested in finding potential trade setups, the following pairs are well worth monitoring. They are listed below in order of signal strength, along with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) GBP/NZD - Earns an ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?

2) AUD/NZD - Earns an ‘-8’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?

3) NZD/CAD - Earns an ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade

As another dense news week draws to a close and financial markets continue to react to the latest flurry of interest rate hikes around the world, it can be helpful for traders to recenter on key biases. Before the weekend fully arrives, let’s check in with the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanning software, to take note of the various ‘strong’ signals that have been generated in preparation for next week. The following list is composed of the 5 strongest pairs to trade according to EdgeFinder analysis: they are listed with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts. Additional fundamental and technical commentary will be provided accordingly.

1) USD/CAD - Earns an ‘8’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
USD beats CAD in every listed category besides inflation (although annual inflation in the US remains slightly higher than in Canada).
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
This yearlong uptrend has been impressive, with a sustained breakout above key resistance.

2) NZD/CAD - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD beats CAD in every listed category besides inflation and interest rate divergence (although annual inflation in New Zealand remains higher than in Canada, and their benchmark interest rates are identical).
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
The past few months have given way to incredible bullish momentum following October's reversal.

3) EUR/JPY - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
EUR beats JPY in every listed category besides inflation and unemployment; interest rate divergence is especially significant in light of the EU's departure from ultraloose monetary policy, which contrasts sharply with Japan.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
This yearslong uptrend has reached highs not encountered since 2015.

4) AUD/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD continues to beat AUD in every listed category.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
The aggressive selloff continues following October's stunning breakout below trendline support.

5) GBP/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD continues to beat GBP in every listed category.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
Trendline resistance spanning over a decade continues to hold as key support is yet again retested.
Big Fed Decision Ahead

Fresh on the heels of today’s surprisingly low inflation data for the United States, all eyes will be on the big Fed decision ahead. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm ET, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC; the policy-making body within the Federal Reserve) will reveal their latest increase in the Federal Funds Rate, along with a corresponding statement and a new set of economic projections for the next two years (including interest rate forecasts). Following this, at 2:30 pm ET Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at the FOMC press conference, where he will answer questions regarding monetary policy strategy, economic outlook, and more. All these events are likely to cause a great deal of volatility across financial markets, especially as equities investors eagerly await a slower rate hike pace.

With a 50 basis point rate hike forecast for tomorrow, instead of another brutal 75 basis point hike like those that have been implemented consecutively the past several times, traders and analysts will be on the lookout for more signals regarding a further pivot away from hawkishness. They may feel further emboldened in this search in light of the latest CPI data released this morning, showcasing another month of slowing inflation, bolstering stock market optimism and reducing US Dollar bullishness. However, whether evidence for this narrative continues to build has yet to be seen: there is still the chance that the FOMC could further upwardly revise interest rate forecasts while slowing the pace, which would not be quite as bullish for stocks and bearish for USD as it may seem.

Three Indices to Watch

In yesterday’s article we discussed three pairs to monitor for those who are bullish on USD; they remain worth checking on for potential trade setups this week. Today, however, let’s examine three stock market indices worth watching for those who may be anticipating a fundamental catalyst related to potential Fed dovishness tomorrow. Though two receive neutral signals, the EdgeFinder currently offers positive ratings for all three listed below, as can be seen among their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘3’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

2) SPX500 (S&P 500) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

3) NAS100 (Nasdaq-100) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 am ET, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the month of November. Widely considered a proxy for inflation, the rate at which CPI increases will help the American public and the Federal Reserve discern how much of a threat high inflation continues to pose. Month-over-month CPI is forecast to slow to a 0.3% increase, while month-over-month Core CPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) is anticipated to clock in at 0.3% as well. If the real numbers exceed these expectations, this would be bullish news for USD and bearish news for stock market indices, whereas the inverse would be true if the numbers come in smaller. This is because hotter inflation data gives the Fed further incentive to raise interest rates to cool the economy, which strengthens the Greenback while diminishing demand for stocks. With the Fed’s next rate hike and press conference coming just two days from now, we must issue a warning: US CPI tomorrow is just the beginning for major pairs and equities.

Three Pairs to Watch

Considering that the latest Producer Price Index data released last week was quite bullish for USD, it seems plausible that tomorrow's CPI updates could yield similar results. With this in mind, for those interested in going long on USD, here are three potential pairs to watch for trade setups. While the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s handy market scanner, is reasonably cautious about some of them, new momentum from a fundamental catalyst could correlate with new biases being generated which are more optimistic for US Dollar bulls. They are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

2) USD/JPY - Earns a ‘1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

3) AUD/USD - Earns a ‘-1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

Between fresh numbers for US PPI and more tomorrow, there is a good chance that forex and equities traders could encounter increased volatility across financial markets. First, at 8:30 am ET on Friday, tomorrow morning, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest increases for the Producer Price Index (PPI; measures changes in the prices of goods and services sold by producers) and Core PPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices), both month-over-month. These measurements of inflation are both currently forecast to have risen by 0.2% in the month of November; if the real figures fall short of these expectations, this would be bearish news for USD and bullish news for the US stock market, whereas the inverse would be true if the real PPI numbers exceed these expectations.

Second, at 10 am ET tomorrow, the University of Michigan in the US is going to publish the Preliminary release of their Index of Consumer Sentiment report. Released monthly, the index is based on data regarding the economic confidence of consumers gathered via survey; it acts as an indicator for economic optimism or pessimism, which can have big implications for financial markets. With the index anticipated to hit 56.9 this month, a larger number would signal more consumer optimism, which would be bullish news for USD and bearish for stocks. However, if the report fails to hit these forecasts, this could likely be bearish news for USD and bullish for the stock market. This is because, as with the PPI reports, hotter-than-expected growth and demand could cause the Federal Reserve to lean further into monetary tightening and hawkishness, which would fly in the face of investor hopes as reflected in the recent months’ stock market rally. Regardless of bullish or bearish biases, traders would be wise to keep an eye on these releases, as they may have a significant impact on price action tomorrow.

What Assets to Watch

While the EdgeFinder does not currently view the US Dollar in a particularly favorable light, it has generated one such bullish signal for a major pair. That pair is listed below, along with two assets worth watching for potential trade setups if tomorrow’s news is bearish for USD. They are all listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

2) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘4’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

3) XAU/USD (Gold) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

This morning’s economic news pertaining to the United States has been rather complicated. Because of this, we would like to issue a word of caution: bizarre US labor data like this can have odd effects on price action for major pairs. On one hand, Non-Farm Employment Change (NFP, for Non-Farm Payrolls; a key gauge of private sector labor market activity) estimates for November came in far from strong. Released at 8:15 am ET by Automatic Data Processing, Inc., a meager 127,000 jobs were projected to have been added to the US economy over the latest month, a far cry from the 196,000 that had been forecast. This implies a cooling labor market, which is bearish for USD.

On the other hand, however, the latest findings in the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS jobs report, published this morning at 10 am ET, has seemingly contradictory implications: an impressive 10.33 million job openings remain in the US, still almost double the number of unemployed individuals looking for work. Coupled with better-than-expected quarter-over-quarter real GDP growth, with the latest numbers clocking in at a 2.9% expansion this morning, and a smaller decline in homes sales than anticipated, this news paints a different picture of the US labor market and economy, one that is still red hot. This is quite bullish news for USD.

What to Make of This?

While it does appear that more reports are signaling USD bullishness than bearishness, we can also wait for further confirmation about US economic strength over the next few days. For example, tomorrow morning the latest changes in the US Core PCE Price Index month-over-month will be made public; this is a key fundamental indicator for those trading USD, as it is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. Likewise, Friday morning will be a pivotal day in the financial markets, since the official new NFP numbers, wage growth data month-over-month, and new US unemployment rate will be published too, all at 8:30 am ET. Between all these crucial updates on fundamentals, traders will have much to chew on, far more than just today’s confusing data.

3 Potential Pairs to Buy

According to the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner, EUR/USD and USD/CAD remain the optimal pairs to monitor right now for opportunities to go long on USD. Because we just explored their respective charts in Monday’s article, let’s take this time to examine the EdgeFinder’s highest rated pairs to buy, which all happen to be NZD pairs. A strong currency in its own right, the New Zealand Dollar is well worth focusing on as we await further USD developments. Without further ado, here are the three pairs that rank highest on the EdgeFinder’s score summary chart, along with their respective ratings, biases, and corresponding charts.

1) NZD/CAD – Receives a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

2) NZD/USD – Receives a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data

3) NZD/JPY – Receives a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Caution: Bizarre US Labor Data
Surprising PPI Numbers Today

This morning at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the latest figures for a key measure of inflation in the United States. The Producer Price Index (PPI), which tracks changes in the prices of goods and services sold by producers, was expected to increase by 0.4% month-over-month in October; instead, it only rose by a mild 0.2%. Likewise, Core PPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices), was forecast to increase by 0.3% month-over-month, but remained static, changing exactly 0% instead. These surprising PPI numbers today offer yet another instance of American inflation dropping following the recent low CPI report, building a bearish case for USD and a bullish one for stock market indices as the need for a hawkish Fed ostensibly lessens. However, I am personally skeptical of this development as many underlying economic fundamentals have not changed, as we will discuss below.

Markets to Watch

My bias remains bullish on USD, and bearish on the US stock market, for three primary reasons: A) None of the crises the world is contending with have evaporated: an energy crisis still looms with winter around the corner, and many markets are still hot with artificial demand following quantitative easing mid-pandemic. B) The Democratic Party in the US, which tends to be seen as a pro-stimulus party, recently outperformed expectations in last week’s midterm elections, which I predicted could create short-term rallies in the stock market (but longer-term bullishness for USD). C) One month’s worth of data on inflation is not enough to mark a trend; October’s low numbers could easily be outliers, perhaps due to tapping into oil reserves to alleviate cost-of-living increases.

For those who remain bullish on USD and anticipate the Fed further hiking interest rates at a historic pace to quell high inflation, the following markets will be key to watch. They are listed below with their respective EdgeFinder ratings, signals/biases (which diverge from mine), and corresponding charts.

1) EUR/USD (Receives a -2, or ‘Neutral’ Signal)

Surprising PPI Numbers Today
Already struggling with double-digit inflation exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Europe's economic predicament could grow worse as winter approaches, likely increasing demand for energy and driving up oil and gas prices amid low supply.
Surprising PPI Numbers Today
Despite the strong breakout to the upside, key resistance has been encountered, and Keltner Channel walls suggest overbought conditions.

2) US30 (Receives a 4, or ‘Buy’ Signal)

Surprising PPI Numbers Today
Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average's month-long rally has been historic, most institutional traders are still going short.
Surprising PPI Numbers Today
On one hand, a year-long downtrend has been disrupted with a breakout to the upside. On the other hand, key resistance is near, around 34000.

3) USO (Receives a -5, or ‘Sell’ Signal)

Surprising PPI Numbers Today
Despite the strong downtrend, lower supply due to wartime conditions and OPEC+ restrictions on production, in conjunction with higher demand in wintertime, could cause prices to soar in the near future. Also, nearly 80% of institutional traders are still going long.
Surprising PPI Numbers Today
Although resistance was encountered at the 92 level, it appears an uptrend could be beginning to form.
Time to Buy Treasuries?

While the A1 EdgeFinder can aid traders and investors by compiling analysis for currency pairs and stock market indices, it also offers great insight into bond markets as well. This can be helpful to remember considering that US Treasuries, debt securities backed by the US government, often become more enticing for buyers as interest rates rise. This is because Treasury prices fall, and yield rates rise, in conjunction with increases in the Federal Funds Rate; for example, the yield on the 10 Year Treasury Note has risen from about 1.5% to over 3.8% since the beginning of 2022. With the Federal Reserve continuing their aggressive rate hike campaign of historic proportions, and the EdgeFinder issuing bullish signals for certain government bonds, it is worth asking: is it time to buy Treasuries?

10 Year Treasuries or 'T-Notes' are reviewed particularly favorably for traders and investors by the EdgeFinder. They are listed below with their respective rating, signal/bias, and corresponding EdgeFinder breakdown chart. The ten years number within their name refers to their maturation period, one decade over which fixed interest will be paid to the owner; for more information, read here.

US10Y - Earns a 4, or ‘Buy’ Signal

Time to Buy Treasuries?
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

This morning at 8:30 am Eastern Time, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI; a proxy for inflation) numbers. Included in this report was month-over-month CPI, year-over-year CPI, and month-over-month Core CPI, which cuts out volatile food and energy prices. Rather than exceeding market expectations as USD bulls have become so accustomed to, last month’s inflation rather decelerated, and by large margins too. Month-over-month CPI was a meager 0.4%, a far cry from the 0.6% forecast, and month-over-month Core CPI only increased by 0.3% instead of 0.5%. The shocking US inflation data this morning is bearish for USD at face value, painting a picture of a US economy that is beginning to cool, implying less urgent need for Fed aggression while providing encouragement for stock markets.

Three Pairs to Trade

Despite this news, a bullish USD bias can still be meaningfully tied to fundamentals, because Fed Chair Powell made it clear that the Federal Reserve will not reduce rate hike goals based on one or two occurrences of lower-than-forecast inflation data. Thus, the bearish USD price action that arises from this news grants USD bulls potential opportunities for trade setups. With this in mind, here is a selection of pairs that the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner, still views favorably for USD bulls; they are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD (Earns a 6, or ‘Strong Buy’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

2) USD/CHF (Earns a 3, or ‘Buy’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning

3) EUR/USD (Earns a -3, or ‘Sell’ Signal)

Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
Shocking US Inflation Data This Morning
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