This used to be an easy year for macro traders.
But as all winning trades eventually do, both oil and the dollar have stalled or turned around of late. Over the past 1½ months, the Dollar Index has been down 3 percent, and oil has gone up more than 30 percent.
"By now, the professional community is receptive to the trend shocks in the major asset themes of the last nine months… continuing to cause 'inconvenience,'" Neil Azous of advisory firm Rareview Macro wrote in a note Monday to clients. "The consensus view remains that these trend shocks are just cyclical adjustments in a medium-term secular theme given the performance runs they have had over that period of time."
However, in an email to CNBC, Azous said the recent countertrend action may add up to more than a mere speed bump.
"I think we are coming up to a new inflection point where these 9-15 month trends may be challenged further," Azous wrote.
The big upcoming event, at least for the dollar, may be Wednesday's Federal Reserve statement.
Azous said "the naysayers want to argue that the FOMC meeting this Wednesday is a non-event," but the Fed could well end up giving a hint about when it may look to raise short-term rates.
If the Fed is more dovish than anticipated (meaning, their words push expectations of a rate hike further into the future) the dollar could have a tough go of it, given that expectations of a 2015 rate hike have helped the dollar surge against currencies like the euro.
But Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer at S&P Capital IQ, is wary of jumping the gun.
For the dollar, "the change in the trend has only happened in the past weeks. … I still see the longer-term trend continuing, as the U.S. Fed is expected to tighten and quantitative easing is expected to continue outside the U.S. So that I expect to hold intact," she said.
On the other hand, Gibbs note that since oil has bounced so powerfully and we are entering a seasonally strong period for oil, "that might become outright painful, and I'd look at maybe going long the oils at this point."
For his part, Azous noted that "to truly change gears people would need to see trend changes on monthly/quarterly metrics, not just daily/weekly which is still the case."
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