This could change a lot of playbooks in 2016: Strategist

As 2015 comes to an end, many on Wall Street are placing their bets on what could happen in the markets next year. But according to one strategist, an unforeseen collapse in the dollar index could not only send ripples across the entire market, but "change a lot of playbooks for 2016."

"Everyone seems to be on the same side of the boat when it comes to the dollar, thinking that long term it's going to go higher," Matt Maley told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. He noted that with an improving U.S. economy and Federal Reserve tightening — while many other central banks are easing — the bull case can easily be made for the dollar. "But a lot of people forget that the high in the dollar was actually way back in March."

The dollar index has traded in a sideways range for much of 2015, seeing returns of more than 8 percent year to date, with much of those gains having occurred in the first three months of the year. The index hit a closing high of 100.18 in March and retested that level earlier this month, forming what Maley, managing director and equity strategist at Miller Tabak, said could be a double top.

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"The last three times the dollar made a double top has been followed by a significant or even major sell-off," he said.

According to Maley, the dollar completed a similar pattern in January 2002, and saw a 33 percent decline in the three years to follow. It happened again in November 2005, where it fell 23 percent in the following two years and most recently in June 2010, seeing a nearly 20 percent decline in the following year, he said.

"We're still a ways away from confirming that a double top has indeed been formed," he noted. "But it could change a lot of playbooks for 2016 if that happens."

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For Maley, any surprise next year from the Federal Reserve coupled with a break below the October low of around 93 on the chart could be the catalyst that drives the index lower. That's a 5 percent move from its current level of around 98.

"Needless to say, a long-term change in trend for the dollar will have all sorts of implications for many markets — especially commodities," added Maley.


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