When the ‘Everything Bubble’ Pops
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When the ‘Everything Bubble’ Pops, Everything Goes Down
As the month begins, global events and central bank tightening are putting pressure on gold and silver investors. What should you watch in the weeks ahead? Host Craig Hemke and analyst Chris Vermeulen of the Technical Traders break down all the charts you need to navigate the markets.
In this edition of the Precious Metals Projections, you’ll hear:
- The best asset right now
- The “big potential” in bonds
- Plus: how far the S&P might fall
To view Chris’s full thoughts on this month’s gold and silver charts, plus many more, watch here:
Craig: Well, hello again from Sprott Money News, sprottmoney.com. It's now September 2022. It's time for your monthly "Precious Metals Projections." We're gonna talk a little more than just precious metals this month as man, there is a lot going on. I'm your host Craig Hemke. Joining us as usual, Chris Vermeulen of thetechnicaltraders.com. Good to see you, Chris.
Chris: Hey, thanks for having me, Craig.
Craig: Always fun, my friend. A reminder, the usual reminder, actually, this content obviously free of charge here on the internet, but that you really should thank the folks at Sprott Money for putting this together for you than having Chris and I come on and do this for you. You can do that two ways. You can go to the Sprott Money website as you see right here that Chris has pulled u. Always great deals at Sprott Money. Great storage deals as well if you wanna have a nice, safe, secure place to hold your precious metal.
But also, if anything, if you're not in the market for precious metals right now, at least give whatever channel you're listening this on with, YouTube, Spotify, whatever, give it a like, a thumbs up, hit the subscribe button so you're notified every time Sprott Money puts out new content. If you don't know this stuff, that actually helps Sprott Money get a wider distribution, get more information out there into more ears, and that helps the cause for all of us. So, please at least give us a like or a subscribe on whatever channel you're listening.
Chris, we sit here, we start September. There is all kinds of stuff going on, and we'll try to touch on some of it over the next few minutes. The energy crisis in Europe is probably gonna be a huge driver over the next six months through the winter, and that'll be a concern obviously for everybody. But as the month begins here, you're really beginning to feel that across the global markets, all of this central bank tightening, especially by the Fed is driving the bond market lower, the stock market lower, the dollar higher, and all these things are having a rather adverse impact on the precious metals. We've been in periods like this before, though, and as part of your service, I know that you've navigated people through this type of climate. For those people listening, just give them some idea of what they can do, what they should be watching in the weeks ahead to help them preserve capital and stay nimble.
Chris: Yeah. So, investing is...if you're gonna be an active investor, a tactical investor trying to dance around and not just buy and hold, what I've found is the most easy way to try to navigate the markets and avoid big selloffs. You look at this chart here, this is the daily chart of bonds over the past about year. And it's just been an absolute blood bath for anyone who's got any type of bond holdings in their portfolio. And I've come up with a solution. I've been working on this for over 25 years, always trying to find out how do I find the best asset now, which you and I have talked about many times before, and my philosophy is I don't believe in holding any position if it's going down. You're not gonna see me buying hold, I'm not gonna hold stock and bond split portfolio because if something's going down, it defeats the whole point of what we're trying to do as investors is grow our money. So, I take a very different approach, and this is gonna lead into where we are in the markets today, and where I think the best asset, the best position at the moment is.
So, I like to look at the market from this position hierarchy, I call it. So, we've got the SP 500, which to me, the US stock market is the best opportunity. If the stock market is favorable, we want to be in stocks and really all in stocks. I only usually take one position at a time because there's usually one sector on the hierarchy that is better than the others. So, if stocks aren't in favor, then I look to bonds. If bonds are not in favor, which they haven't been since almost halfway down the COVID crash, then we look at the U.S. dollar and if the U.S. dollar's now full bullish, then we look at UDN, which is the inverse dollar. And of course, then on top of that, we've got the bill, which is the short-term T note. So, you can just move to cash and earn a little bit of interest while you're sitting in cash.
And what's interesting here is these last three positions are more or less a cash position, but we can make money sitting in cash. And as we know this year, one of the best assets has been the U.S. dollar. We'll look at this chart shortly and it's been performing very well. And I like to look at things that when volatility picks up, we wanna step back from the markets. I do the opposite of most other people. When volatility picks up and things start moving, people seem to get excited, they jump into things, they try picking tops and bottoms, and usually, it ends very negatively in the long run for them.
And so, this column right here, this 20-day Donchian percent volatility, this is telling us over the past 20 days, what the extreme high and the extreme low percentage swings are. So, for the SP 500, it has swung 14% within a 20-day window. Bonds are just over half of that. The U.S. dollar is about half of bonds and then sitting in cash more or less is very low volatility. And so, that gives you an idea of when things get chaotic, we start moving down the hierarchy to slower moving, more conservative assets, and it doesn't matter if the dollar is rising or falling, one of these ETFs could and should be moving up in favor so that we can actually profit in a cash position.
And I also like to look at what the daily range, just the intraday high and low over the past 20 days has been. You can see the S&P 500, 2.5%, the bonds, 1.75%, the dollar, only three-quarters of a percent. So, this is how I like to look at the markets. And I always follow this hierarchy that if stocks are not in favor, then I go to bonds. If they're not in favor, we go to the dollar. So, this type of scenario keeps investing really low volatility, keeps the trades slow and consistent, and the return.
So, here is the COVID crash. So, generally, if the top...SPY, you can see these different symbols, TLT, UUPB this is our hierarchy chart, naturally are gonna be long stocks when they're favorable, but when our system gives a sell signal telling us that big money is flowing out, the trend has changed, we moved down the hierarchy to what the next asset is. And in this case for COVID, it happened to be bonds. We ended up running up our targets and hit a trailing stop on this following day, and we actually got out of bonds. And then we moved into a cash position after that because neither the UUP or UDN actually gave us a signal. They won't always give us a signal to be in.
And then we sit in cash, earn a little bit of interest with T bill until we get a new buy signal in the stock market, which we were able to get back into the stock market at almost a 13% discount, and then ride up that next big rally. So, this shows you how you can just dance around this market. As the market gets volatility, picks up, we're stepping back and moving away, but we're still generating growth in our account. This year, very similar scenario, we were long stocks. We got a sell signal. Bonds were not in favor. We got into the UUP, it had a nice move up. We got a new buy signal in the stock market, we played that for a small move. And then we got a sell signal. We moved back into the dollar, the dollar's been rallying, and that's how this year has more or less played out with this strategy.
So, it's a very interesting way to try to navigate the stock market considering this was one of the worst starts to a year for equities and continues to almost get worse here by the week. This makes it pretty painless and low volatility as we go into that stuff. So, when we look at the bond chart here, bonds are clearly out of favor. And as you were saying, where is that best asset right now? And to me, the dollar is a very good signal of what's going on in the world where the money is flowing. And this is where we have been. In fact, this morning at the opening bell, we actually closed out a portion of our UUP trade. We closed out three-quarters of it for a nice gain, and we closed out a nice trade on the indexes from about...You can see here, we played a nice bounce in the U.S., the SPY, we took some partial profits. We got the rest out, we got in UUP while the stock market's been falling.
So, we're making money in the bounces, we're making money as the market pulls back, and we're doing it in a way that is very low volatility. And the dollar, you can see here when we had a sell signal, we get into the dollar, the dollar has just rallied. And to me, the dollar is really...it really gives me a pulse on the fear of the market. If the stocks are selling, the dollar is rallying, especially if bonds are selling off, we've got real panic in the market, and it puts major headwinds on almost every other asset, including precious metals, which is why they've been under so much pressure. And so, right now the best asset to me is actually the dollar, and I think it actually has quite a bit more potential to go higher and things could get pretty, pretty gnarly as you and I were talking about before we started recording here, for precious metals.
Craig: Well, let's break those down a little bit with those three components, and let's do that this month because, again, you make a great point about reducing your exposure when asset classes are going down, and really all asset classes have been going down. If the Fed and the other central banks are gonna blow the everything bubble, then when the everything bubble pops, everything goes down. And this year, the typical financial planning advice is, "Oh, you've got 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds as a diversification," well, this year, the whole 100% has been going down. And this has obviously been impacting the precious metals too.
Let's start with...I see you got the chart of the dollar there. The dollar, as the computers that trade the precious metals futures, if the dollar's going up, they'll see that intraday and maybe sell some precious metals futures, and if the dollar goes down, vice versa. This has been an issue for quite some time, the dollar's up dramatically, more than 20% in the last year. It looks a lot like 2014, the last time that happened. Chris, what do you see there? Again, understanding there are component parts to the dollar index, it's not just the dollar. That index is weighing the dollar versus other fiat that are just devaluing faster, like the euro and the yen. But what do you see in the chart that might suggest a top or maybe another extension higher?
Chris: Yeah. I'm not a permabear and I try not to shoot fear across everybody, but I think people need to be really...The market always does what we at least expect, and I have a feeling we could continue to see a lot of selling in stocks, panic continue to climb, selling in bonds, which to me, actually, the selloff in bonds is gonna create more panic than the stock market because the majority of investment capital is with people nearing retirement, retirees, and they're heavily weighted. Pretty much, one of the theories is you put your age in bonds, the older you are, the more bonds you have, and unfortunately, most people are not...or investors and advisors, aren't really tactical investors, they're you buy your split of stock and bond, you ride it out.
But we could continue to see bonds fall, and it's gonna create a lot of panic, a lot of selling. And I think the dollar could still very much so benefit and rally, and that's gonna create the surge in the dollar index, we're gonna see liquidation across all asset classes, and the combined...the rising dollar and real panic among investors around the world, it's going to send a shock wave in a massive bout of selling that's gonna create margin calls and liquidation and see a huge slide potentially in commodities and in stocks that people are not expecting, and bonds too. I think we actually have a big potential here in bonds. If we look at the...
Craig: Let's go there.
Chris: ...the chart of bonds and go way back in time, we've been in this massive...we go way back here. This is as far back as my data goes, but more or less we were in this...We broke into a bull market. We've been in it forever. Now we're in this major topping phase where bonds, I think, are now gonna start heading lower. And I was doing some calculations on, I think, Thursday with our mentoring session, our investors, that bonds actually have the potential to drop another 20% to 30% where they are right now. We're talking, this would send the shock wave through the investment world like no one ever expected. And it's weird because the market always does something...you go from one extreme to the other, ying-yang.
Right now you can't find labor. Everybody's making a ton of money doing pretty basic standard jobs because there is no labor available. If bonds were to collapse another 20% or 30% and the stock market collapses another 20% or 30%, all the retirees, which is a very large portion of the population, are gonna have to go back to work and we're gonna go from no labor to everybody wanting a job. And I think we could potentially have the biggest swing in economies from the strongest to the worst very quickly. And it sounds really bad, and it is really bad, and I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but we are really close to something like this happening and it can actually happen pretty darn quick.
This is a monthly chart, six, eight months from now, bonds could be down another 10% or 15% or 20%, so could the stock market, and we're gonna be in that situation. And people who can't manage or don't know how to manage positions or investments like just buying and holding, you are riding one heck of a roller coaster ride and risking everything. I'm all about a cash position. I would much rather watch price action or miss out on upside than potentially risk changing my lifestyle and losing money and worrying about outliving your money and all those things that come with a falling stock market. So, there's some pretty big big-picture scenarios that don't look too bright and we're on a teetering point that it could happen.
Craig: Yeah. Well, and just from a day-to-day buyer and seller standpoint, remember, lower bond prices mean higher yields, right?
Craig: And so, a lot of us think, "Well, rates can't go that much higher." But then you think about it, well, who's buying treasuries? If the Chinese aren't buying treasuries and the Russians aren't buying treasuries and the ECB's not buying treasuries and the Bank of Japan's not buying treasuries, and now the Fed isn't even buying treasuries for now, who's left? There's nobody buying and you get more sellers and buyers and down goes price. I'm sure the Fed will probably be the buyer of last resort, just like the Bank of England or the Bank of Japan. But in the meantime...
Chris: Who knows?
Craig: Those rates...
Chris: I know people are saying certain rate levels, but for all we know we could see another huge rate spike.
Chris: It could be absolutely ballistic. And of course, I talked about this a long time ago that I think the market was gonna have some crazy wild swing, and real estate is gonna go from the hottest commodity. Now it's already topped, and I think it's started a very long journey sideways and lower, but mortgage rates, 30-year mortgage rates have jumped dramatically. It's already getting hard to get mortgages, people can't afford the homes at the prices now because the mortgages have doubled, the rates have doubled in the last few months. So, a house that was $1.5 million in your budget, now you're like, "Well, now I can only really actually get a $750,000, $800,000 house," just because of the mortgage. So, now there's gonna be all this pressure. So, yeah, we're in for a very interesting time and...
Craig: Right. Well, let's carry that over to the stock market because this is probably the thing that would ultimately drive a Powell pivot and get the Fed back into the QE game faster than anything else. I'm watching myself the 3,900 level on the S&P but then those lows earlier this year around 3,600, you see that on that chart.
Chris: Yeah. I'm just gonna pull up the weekly here.
Craig: What will you be watching? Because again, the interesting thing about technicals is they increase in validity, the more people that are watching, right?
Craig: It becomes a self-fulfilling thing. Everybody's watching the same level and when that level breaks one way or the other, everybody moves at the same time. How far could the S&P fall if by chance it takes out those earlier lows?
Chris: Yeah. If we take a look at this, we can use Fibonacci. So, a couple of ways we can look at this. Overall, I think we've had an A, B, C correction. So, a nice...usually you have a bear flag during...in a halfway move, more or less. If we use Fibonacci, which I find works exceptionally well, we can look at the...Sorry, this full rally. So, this will be a three-wave down and then we're coming up and if this is the high, this is going to give us an idea of where that next downside move is. So, from where we are right today, we come back down to a double bottom, more or less, that'll be the 618, and we'll probably have some bounce or short-term pause there, that's about 7%, 8% down. If we do have a bounce and a pause off the 618, we almost always hit the 100% measured move after that, I've found, in the S&P 500, which means we could see an 18%, 19% drop from where we are right now.
And bonds are probably gonna drop very similar. Geez, they were going neck and neck. They were fighting to see who could drop the most earlier this year. So, this is the weekly chart, so we're looking potentially two, three months out could be a very different story from where people are sitting, thinking, and feeling right now. And people's financial outlook will train change dramatically if that happens.
Craig: Right. And again, how all these things connect, maybe eventually get a safe haven bid in bonds if the stock market's collapsing, but if the stock market's going down and the bond market's going down, that's just gonna make the dollar go up even further, and you put all that together with the general liquidations and margin calls and everything else that goes on, as valuable as gold and silver are, and we always look for opportunities to add more physical, the way that these things are traded through the derivative in the futures contracts, you can get all sorts of liquidations. And so, I think we should close this month, not to be bearish and scare people and all that stuff, but as much as we get excited about the long-term potential for the precious metals and owning them as a security and insurance policy against where this monetary system is headed.
In the short term, there's always the potential to route the futures contracts and what I've been warning people on my side, and what I'm watching most closely is that period in the left-hand side of your chart there, that's something that anybody that's been in the metals for a decade will recall. Right? Spiked in 2011 all the way up to $1920, and then sharply pulled back and bounced on multiple occasions from that $1525 to $1550 level, like we would go down there and bounce, it'd look pretty good, but then it would go up to $1800 and stop. And we were like, "Wow, boy. What's gonna happen here?" Well, we know what happened. We got into April of 2013, price fell below $1550, went down $60 on a Friday falling below that $1550 level, and then went down $140 the following Monday as stops were run. And you can see that plunge. Right. So, now, Chris, let's look at present day.
Chris: Yeah, it's a scary picture, if this doesn't hold it's gonna be lights out for a little while.
Craig: Again, same thing coming down, bouncing off about $1680 to $1700 on multiple occasions, going up to near $2000 on multiple occasions. And again, what happens? It's like we talk about the technical analysis, everybody looking at the same chart. If everybody looks at that like they did in 2011 and through '13 and goes, "Well, if it ever breaks down below $1525, I better put my stops in there." Then all of a sudden you get everybody and their brothers got stops in there and that's what...the result, we know what happened. And I would imagine there's a few stops at around $1660 and $1650. So, with that as a backdrop, that is a long question, obviously, you see the same thing. From a technical perspective, if there are stops that get run, if the dollar spikes, if the stock market collapses, you get all this liquidation going on and we drop below $1680, where do you see support? Where would be a spot that somebody would go, "Okay, here's where I might be looking to step in and buy some physical?"
Chris: Yeah. A really basic way just to get an idea of the overall momentum, I usually like to use at least two highs and two lows. So, if we were to just box in that pricing, I usually look at this type of volatility...the amount of volatility built in this sideways channel I find can be extended to the downside. Very much like a head and shoulders pattern. You can take the neckline up to the top of the head. That'll give you the momentum of the breakdown. This is the same type of thing, but with a double top. And that brings us down to '13, which is right through all of this noise through here. Really rings us right back to the first leg where we broke out in 2019 to the new bull market.
Craig: Can you not do about the exact same thing to that top back in '11 and '13? Put your same box on there. Okay. Stand it down. Yes, sir.
Chris: Yeah, it brings you down. There's the odd little shake down there, but it's the same type of thing. The first momentum move is so strong, right? Like, it came right down and got darn close to that level so quick. And I think if it was to break down, we're gonna see a very similar type of setup. Just looking at this chart when you look back in time, it's pretty clear they look very, very similar. Other than this one long wick candle, it still came up and broke some of these little highs and then came down. This one did the same. It actually came up and broke the previous high and now here, we got this, it came down, it bounced while we've come down, we've bounced. This is a possibility, right? And this is what most people don't...people wanna look beyond the negative.
I know the amount of emails I get right now of, "Can I buy gold now? Can I buy gold miners?" Everybody's trying to pick the bottom. And I think it's a good opportunity if you're a bottom picker and we're at a support level, but if support breaks, it's gonna break quick, you're gonna get probably a fairly bad fill because it's just gonna drop like a knife straight down in seconds or minutes on the chart. But you gotta get out if it breaks. As you said, we could see a very sharp drop, and gold could be out of favor for a while, which is what you and I have talked about. I feel like gold's not gonna be in favor until sometime later next year.
I think the stock market's gonna continue to sell off. I think the dollar's...The sell-off in the stock market's gonna pull precious metals down, usually precious metals get pulled down with panic selling and investors dumping positions. It's natural. So, I think gold is gonna be under pressure because of that. We have the dollar surging and I think the dollar has a lot higher to go. I think it can go to 116, 120 very easily, which will add more fuel to this sell-off in precious metals. But I have a feeling we're gonna see the dollar top out somewhere around the 120, stock market's gonna bottom out another 15% to 30% lower, and who knows where gold is? But when those things come about, I think that's when gold puts in the next major bottom and we see that huge rally. So, I'm very bullish on precious metals, but I'm still not really super excited for another 6, 8, 12 months probably.
Craig: And I just would add a fundamental caveat to this chart, which is remarkably similar to '11 through '13, but this isn't 2013, right? That's the thing people need to keep in mind. It's not 2013 economically or geopolitically, monetarily, nothing. Now, there are similarities obviously, and if those stops get run, you're gonna see it. But that five-year period that followed that big bottoming rounding bottom between '14 and '18 was a period where the Fed played the same rhetorical games, games that they're playing now. "Wow, we're gonna run off the balance sheet and normalize interest rates," and all that crap. That worked. They were able to pull the wool over everybody's eyes for five years and then the result when they finally admitted that they couldn't do that beginning in late '18 was that next rally. I'm not sure they can do it for five years again this time.
Chris: Yeah. I'm not sure either.
Craig: But regardless, I just wanted to make sure we covered that today because though we may continue to hold $1680, and who knows geopolitically what's coming over the horizon in the next 6 months, people just need to be aware so that if this does develop, if you do get a drop like we got in '13 that you keep your wits about yourself and understand that, hey, if they're gonna run the paper price that far, it might be a good chance to get some physical metal. And so...
Chris: For sure.
Craig: ...just wanted to make people aware that that is at least at risk. Anything else on your mind, Chris, before we wrap up?
Chris: I think that's about it. I think we covered it all. And I think the biggest thing here is people who are holding onto positions, I know a lot of people who have been writing into me have been buying miners and they keep going lower and GDX is making multiyear lows. And they're like, "I just added more." People who are trading that way, it goes against every bone in my body. I don't buy assets falling, I don't pick a bottom, I don't do that. I wait for a reversal and get on a trend moving higher.
Just this type of drop that we just talked about in gold, if this is to happen, it's gonna devastate somebody's account who refuses to just get out of miners, get out of a trade going south. I know a lot of people who have been buying bonds recently, and I'm like, "Bonds are not...they're not in an uptrend. You don't really want bonds." And they keep accumulating. And I know some of them finally liquidated their positions and bonds have fallen away from there in the last couple of weeks. And they're like, "Oh, thank God I sold those." So, people just need to sometimes bite the bullet or be ready. If gold breaks down, I would be ejecting out of any gold miners if you hold any. I own zero gold miners because I think we're still far from the new real bull market there. Just know that there could be devastating 50%, 80% selloffs in gold miners very easily if this was to take place.
Craig: Yeah. What would the free cash flow and the earnings look like at $1400 gold? Again, this is just fundamental things. It doesn't change the long-term picture. It doesn't mean that the monetary policy and all the other reasons why we own physical metal, it doesn't mean those have dissolved. It's just, that the markets may be poised to do this kind of stuff in the weeks and months to come and you just need to be aware.
Chris: Yeah. And physical...
Craig: [crosstalk 00:28:08] Chris...
Chris: I look at physical metal a lot different than gold miners. Miners are there to make money, they're a trade, they're an aggressive move. Physical metals, they move all the time. We're looking at gold pulling back 25% potentially. For a long-term asset, it's not the end of the world. The scenario's still there. I buy gold for long-term investment hedge against some catastrophe, which I think eventually is gonna happen and we're gonna see gold and silver come back in value. So I like the physicals and if it was to crash like this, obviously I see that as an opportunity more than anything else. So, that's important. There's a big difference between physical and trading the stocks.
Craig: Yep. So, keep some dry powder. It's always a good idea to add physical metal, but if you get a chance to buy it at a 20% discount from here, makes it an even better idea.
Craig: Of course, when that time comes, you wanna keep Sprott Money in mind. Chris knew where I was going. He had that webpage radar roll. Again, you can see right across the top there, gold, silver there's storage. And again, it's just something that is always going to be your insurance policy against how this all plays out in the end. We don't know when it all plays out the way we expect it to. So, in the meantime, we'll just keep track of price, we'll keep doing videos like this to try to help out, and we'll keep asking you to keep Sprott Money in mind anytime you're in the market. Again, that's the website, sprottmoney.com, and the phone number, is it buried on there as well? 888-861-0775 to talk to an actual human being. Chris, I look forward to talking to you again, my friend, the actual human being. In about four or five weeks, we'll be past the next Fed meeting, we'll be well into October. And gosh, October's always a fun month. In the meantime, thanks so much for your time. This has been tremendous and I think very helpful for everybody that's watched.
Chris: All right. Well, thank you. Take care, everybody.
Craig: All the best, my friend, and thank you, everyone, for watching, and we'll have another "Precious Metals Projections" video for you next month.
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