Futures Now Futures Now: Blog


  Wednesday, 7 Oct 2015 | 10:02 AM ET

The market is 'off to the races': Ralph Acampora

Posted ByAmanda Diaz

Stocks opened higher Wednesday after taking a breather in the previous session. But that's not coming as surprise to one top technician, who believes the market could be well on its way to retesting old highs.

"[The past few sessions] have been the best action I've seen in many months," Ralph Acampora told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "We slowed down a little [Tuesday], but I think that's a good thing." The S&P 500 closed slightly lower Tuesday, snapping its five-day winning streak.

Acampora, who predicted major problems for the market in late July, said the charts are now showing signs of a bottom, and he believes the worst could be behind us. "I was very concerned after the August 24 sell-off," said the director of technical analysis at Altaira Limited. "The rallies that [immediately] followed were not impressive." Since Aug. 24, the Dow and S&P 500 are up a respective 7 and 6 percent.

Read More Strategist Paulsen: Market bottom is not in

»Read more
  Tuesday, 6 Oct 2015 | 3:47 PM ET

Crude oil chart looks a lot like 1985: BNP Paribas

Posted ByAmanda Diaz

Crude oil soared nearly 5 percent Tuesday to its highest level in more than a month after U.S. government data showed a decline in production. The commodity has now rallied more than 27 percent from its August low, and the recent move is giving one expert major flashbacks.

"Comparing 1985 to 2015 in crude, there are a few similarities to highlight," Darren Wolfberg told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "Back in 1985 we saw a 69 percent sell-off in crude, we can call it a crude depression, and I think we've seen a similar pricing pattern now where crude oil fell 61 percent from its June 2014 high to March 2015 low."

According to Wolfberg, following both sharp declines were "corresponding short covering" rallies that took approximately 34 trading days to materialize. "In both instances we then saw this double-bottoming effect that happened over the next 100 or so days," added the head of U.S. cash equity trading at BNP Paribas. "In 1985, once we saw that double bottoming process play out, crude oil then rallied 110 percent. It went from $11 to north of $20 over the next year."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 7 Oct 2015 | 2:46 PM ET

The next worry for stocks: An earnings recession?

It's been a tough start to earnings season, with Yum Brands and Adobe Systems falling sharply after reporting their disappointing numbers. And that appears to be increasing the concern of a so-called "earnings recession."

Analysts in aggregate expect earnings to fall more than 5 percent compared to third quarter of last year, according to FactSet. Following the year-over-year earnings decline in the second quarter, this would actually mark the first two consecutive quarters of falling profit since 2009, FactSet reports.

Analyst earnings expectations tend to be overly bearish, and the average company beats estimates.

But if earnings do register the second straight year-over-year drop, it would represent a so-called "earning recession"—a parallel to a regular recession, which is marked by two straight quarters of negative GDP growth.

Read More'Extraordinary' market volatility hitting Yum China

Before investors head for the bunker, they should note well the deleterious effect of the energy sector on overall numbers. Energy earnings are expected to plummet 65 percent versus the third quarter of last year, due to the sharp decline in oil prices.

According to RBC Capital Markets, expectations that exclude the energy sector are for earnings growth of 2.8 percent.

"Ex-energy trends appear more robust," RBC's equity strategy team writes, perhaps understating the market's growing worries.

»Read more
  Friday, 2 Oct 2015 | 1:22 PM ET

Immigrants taking all the jobs? Look again

After the release of a miserable jobs report Friday, some have seen fit to claim that employment is rising only for immigrants, and plummeting for native-born Americans. But a closer look at the numbers reveals a different story.

It is true that, according to the household survey, employment among native-born Americans slid from 124,314,000 in August to 124,052,000 in September. This came as the number of employed foreign-born American rose from 24,914,000 in August to 24,928,000 in September.

But there's a problem with the "they took our jobs" storyline.

Read MoreJob creation misses big in September

The number of unemployed foreign-born Americans also rose, from 1,142,000 to 1,204,000. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed native-born Americans fell from 7,021,000 to 6,423,000.

For that reason, the unemployment rate for foreign-born Americans rose by 0.2 percent, while the unemployment rate for native-born Americans actually fell by 0.4 percent — exactly the opposite of the shift some see occurring.

(Native-born Americans do still have a slightly higher unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent versus 4.3 percent. But at 61.8 percent versus 64.8 percent on the participation rate, fewer native-born people are in the labor force at all.)

Chart: What's the real unemployment rate?

So what's going on here? Are all the jobs going to foreign-born Americans, or not?

Quite simply, the overall number of native-born Americans in the labor force is falling, while the number of foreign-born Americans in the labor force is rising. That's why both employment and unemployment are falling for native-born Americans; it's the total group that is shrinking. This comes as more immigrants are in the labor force.

The numbers, then, should be taken as an indication of shifting demographics, rather than a shifting employment situation.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 30 Sep 2015 | 7:00 AM ET

Why a rate hike could be good for oil

The market can't seem to make up its mind on crude oil.

The battered commodity has recently traded in a wide range of sharp swings, and has plunged more than 52 percent over the course of one year.

But looking ahead, Darren Wolfberg, head of U.S. cash equity trading at BNP Paribas, said that there could be good news for oil on the horizon, specifically in a rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

Theoretically, a rate rise should be bad for oil, because increased interest rates would strengthen the U.S. dollar against other country's currencies.

Meanwhile, oil is inversely related to the dollar, because as the greenback rises, the value and price of oil, bought in U.S. dollars, tend to fall.

Read MoreChesapeake cuts 15% of workforce on oil slump

However, Wolfberg said expects the opposite to happen for two reasons.

"Historically when the Fed raises rates, that's actually the top in the dollar," Wolfberg said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "Secondarily, the Fed's going to raise rates because the economy is good. And usually that means more demand of oil."

Crude oil has struggled to break above $47 a barrel in September, Wolfberg said Tuesday afternoon, but if it reaches above that level, he could see oil back up around $50 to $60.

Until oil recovers, "I think you really gotta buy the dips and sell the rips," he said Tuesday.

»Read more
  Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 | 5:00 PM ET

The trouble with the Fed's inflation call

It is often said that hope is not an investment strategy. Yet that chestnut may not apply to central bankers, because hope appears to be the Federal Reserve's strategy of choice when it comes to inflation.

In a Thursday speech delivered at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fed chair Janet Yellen predicted that at long last, inflation is set to hit the Fed's long-run 2 percent inflation target in the years ahead.

Though inflation has been running at "essentially zero" over the past year, "the Committee expects that inflation will gradually return to 2 percent over the next two or three years," Yellen said.

Read MoreJohn Boehner just made Janet Yellen's life harder

Furnishing the below chart, she reasoned that much of the inflation "shortfall" is likely due to low energy and non-energy prices—both of which can be pinned on sliding oil and the surging U.S. dollar.

»Read more
  Thursday, 24 Sep 2015 | 3:04 PM ET

Something has changed in the gold trade: Gartman

Posted ByAmanda Diaz

Stocks' pain has turned into gold's gain.

Gold prices soared to a one-month high Thursday as fears of a global slowdown have investors seeking so-called safe haven assets like bonds and bullion. And according to Dennis Gartman, often referred to as the "commodities king," the rally in gold could just be starting.

"There's a real strength in the gold market when you look at it in non-U.S. dollar terms," the publisher of The Gartman Letter said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's "Futures Now." "The difference is enormous."

Read MoreHere's my Fed commodity trade: Jim Iuorio

While everyone focuses on gold's move relative to the dollar, Gartman says the real story is what's happening around the world. Pointing to gold priced in euros and yen specifically, the CNBC contributor said that bullion has actually been outperforming. As he noted, in euro terms, gold is up 4.6 percent in the past two years and 6.7 percent over the past five years. Whereas related to the yen, it's up 4.8 percent for two years and 26.4 percent in five years.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 23 Sep 2015 | 8:00 AM ET

Schiff: I'm right on Fed—I'll be right on stocks

Posted ByAmanda Diaz

Peter Schiff has a strong message for investors: It's time to wake up.

The longtime Fed foe took a victory lap on CNBC's "Futures Now" Tuesday, days after Fed chair Janet Yellen announced she would leave interest rates unchanged for the time being.

"The whole world has been fooled by this Fed con," said the Euro Pacific Capital CEO. "Most people believe the Fed. They believe the Fed is going to raise rates," he added.

Schiff has long posited that the Fed will never raise interest rates, contrary to general consensus. In fact, Schiff believes the likelihood of another round of easing is greater than a rate hike. "I don't think she ever intended to hike rates," he said. "They are in a monetary roach hotel, and they will never be able to raise rates back up."

Read MoreChina has a message markets don't understand

Recent turmoil in global equities is just the latest reason for the "data dependent" Fed to hold off on its first hike in nearly a decade. But for Schiff, this isn't anything new, as he has been calling the Fed's bluff long before the latest bout in volatility.

»Read more
  Sunday, 20 Sep 2015 | 5:02 PM ET

Less than zero: Are negative rates next for Fed?

Last week, the Federal Reserve spooked markets by preserving the monetary policy status quo. Yet a few central bank watchers were more surprised by a new idea the central bank seemingly suggested: a negative interest rate.

The Fed's closely watched "dot plot" revealed that at least one committee member floated the idea that a fed funds rate below zero might be an appropriate target for the remainder of this year and next.

The forecast is widely thought to be the work of Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, a non-voting member of the committee who is known for his dovish views. In her press conference last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen made clear that a negative federal funds rate "was not something that we considered very seriously at all today."

Read MoreThe Fed has to deal with its own zombie apocalypse

However, in an environment where prices are persistently low, negative rates mean that businesses and consumers are essentially paid to borrow money, which could serve as an important stimulative tool in times of crisis.

The idea has been floated in the U.K., and tried in the euro zone and Switzerland. Suffice to say, the fact that the concept is being floated in the U.S. is striking to some.

After all, the Fed has spent years noting that its benchmark rate is at the "zero lower bound," which forces it to take other actions in order to stimulate the economy, (i.e. purchase bonds) since rates can't be lowered any further.

Yet what if that bound is not a bound at all, but a Rubicon waiting to be crossed?

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Sep 2015 | 8:35 AM ET

Chase: Hike or not, this is most important for Fed

Posted ByAmanda Diaz

The big question on every investors mind this week is simple: Will she, or won't she?

Wall Street is ripe with anticipation as the countdown continues to what could be the most important Federal Reserve statement since the financial crisis. But while everyone seems to be weighing in on how the market will react if Fed Chair Janet Yellen decides to hike or not, one widely followed economist says it all comes down to her language.

"It really depends on what kind of guidance we get," Anthony Chan told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. Chan, who is in the camp of a December rate hike, believes that if the Fed does indeed pass on September, it must make a "strong case" that the "fundamentals are improving and the only reason they decided to stop or pause is because of global volatility and some volatility here in the U.S.," in order for the market to react positively.

Read MoreThis might be the worst Fed option

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