Welcome to Spread Bet Magazine

SpreadBetMagazine.com is now under new management. We are taking a slightly different angle in that we want to take a more rounded look at spread betting.

(Just a pretty picture, trading platforms don’t really look like this)

Dear Spread Betting Diary

19 August 2017: Quote of the Day

[Prices] are never too high to begin buying or too low to begin selling” – Jesse Livermore

18 August 2017: New Donald Trump Cartoons

It’s Friday and we’ve created a page of our favourite Donald Trump cartoons, images and memes.

If we’ve missed any good ones, please let us know.

18 August 2017: Caution Needed But Volatility Only Back to 2014-2016 Levels

Just in case you didn’t get the message from all the other market commentary about increased volatility, take a look at the VIX charts below.

The general level of volatility is increasing.

The high for 2017 was this time last week on 11 August. We have also seen a couple of other volatile days over the past week.

However, the weekly chart below puts things to perspective. The highs we’ve seen over the last week were pretty typical for much of 2014-2016.

What Does This Mean for Your Spread Betting?
  • trending_flatIf you’re on holiday, there’s no rush to get back
  • infoWith the current levels of volatility at 2014-2016 levels the market is still clearly tradable
  • error_outlineAs always be careful with any trading
  • cloudConsider smaller stakes / reducing positions
  • warningKeep an eye on the VIX getting higher, if it does, consider getting out of all trades until it calms down… when the waves get too big, get out of the water.
Also see live VIX volatility chart.

Daily VIX Chart
Daily VIX Chart: 18 August 2017
Caution Needed

Weekly VIX Chart
Weekly VIX Chart: 18 August 2017
Volatility Back to 2014-2016 Levels

17 August 2017: Gold Breaks Long-Term Triangle Pattern

This is interesting and worth a small trade.

Gold has broken the long-term triangle pattern that we’ve been discussing.

There could a $60 (600pt upside), see gold spread bet update.

Long-Term Gold Triangle Pattern: 17 August 2017
Let’s Take a Break

17 August 2017: Twitter is Censoring Images, Memes and Tweets About Trump

This afternoon @spreadbetmag put this meme on Twitter… but Twitter pulled it…

OK, he may not have said this out loud but banning a Trump meme? Deleting a little satire? Bizarre.

Trump meme: Some of my best friends...
Some of my best friends…

OK, OK, OK. I made the meme above.

Fine. But then Twitter deleted by my next tweet which is just the latest cover of The Economist.

The tweet was just this and picture of the cover:

@realDonaldTrump please make sure you read the latest copy of the @TheEconomist – the cover should give you a clue what it’s about. #potus

Judging by this, they are going to be deleting a lot of tweets! (just not Donald’s).

Shame about Twitter deleting it. It’s a good cover, I look forward to reading it.

Trump KKK Economist Cover - 17 August 2017

17 Aug 2017: Snap Spread Bets End on a Whimper

As expected, Snap gapped lower over the weekend but the speed of the rebound was very quick. I closed my last trade for a miserly profit.

The Snap chart has also broken my very wide channel.

Time to exit.

Snap Chart: 17 August 2017

For more, see Snap inc trading update.

15 Aug 2017: The Foolish Yankees

The North Korea vs USA spat seems to be dying down a little.

It sounds like the adults (in this case China and hopefully General Kelly) have managed to rein in toddlers Jong-un and Trump.

Helping the markets is a new statement from North Korean state media. According to the BBC:

Although prepared for “the enveloping fire at Guam”, the North said it would watch what “the foolish Yankees” do before taking a decision.
  • trending_upThe Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 all posted solid gains yesterday
  • trending_upThe DAX 30 had a small bounce off the 4 month low yesterday after finding support on the 200 MA
  • trending_flatIn the UK, July’s CPI data was unchanged at 2.6% (2.7% expected)

The Most Foolish Yankee

Later on today, in the US, we get the July retail sales data which could be interesting.

After April, May and June saw negative readings, another negative reading, or even just a lacklustre figure, could put a little more pressure on the White House.

The chief fool will be wanting to talk about his $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

Not surprisingly, the current plan is very light on detail and many Republican don’t like the idea of all that government spending.

Any positive messaging about infrastructure spending could be drowned out by the Charlottesville debacle.

Trump made such a mess of the condemning the KKK that when he finally did… it was too late for many people.

Merck’s Ken Frazier, Intel’s Brian Krzanich and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank have all left the President’s “American Manufacturing Council”. Hopefully he’s lost a few more supporter too.

Seriously… if you can’t even condemn the KKK what can you do?

71 years old and still fucking useless.

Whose wizard idea was it to put this idiot in charge?
Whose wizard idea was it to put this idiot in charge?

14 August 2017: Snap’s Decline Has Been Pretty Textbook

…but… I’ll also be exiting the Snap market soon.

We’ve had some nice profits but the unknowns are increasing.

There’s an update on my Snap spread bet here.

As many predicted, Snap saw a nasty gap lower on poor Q2 data.

14 Aug 2017: Trump Confirms He’s Still a Dick

Donald Trump has condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” at white supremacy rally in Charlottesville. Eh?

The Whitest House
Credit: The Whitest House by Ben Jennings, The Guardian

14 August 2017: Cut Your Trading Costs with a Rebate

Financial Spreads have started running a monthly rebate called “Trader Rebate”.

It looks like one of the more generous rebates on offer and, looking through the terms and conditions, there are no nasty withdrawal clauses.

Rebates are not the be-all and end-all but they can be useful for large or frequent traders.

InterTrader also run a monthly rebate.

We’ve added a new guide, see rebate guide for spread betting, forex and CFDs

11 August 2017: Snap, Crackle and Drop

(Sorry, we must stop using Rice Krispies dad jokes.)

Well, well, well, last night’s Snap Inc Q2 2017 numbers were uninspiring to say the least.

Snap Q2 Highlights:
  • warningDaily Active Users, i.e. main KPI for growth, only grew 4% quarter on quarter
  • warningRevenues of $181.7m
  • warningLosses of $443m
That doesn’t look like a $15bn company to me…

Also, I know we should leave emotions out of trading but who the f*** was religiously buying the stock at $13.50?

With the S&P 500 not accepting Snap, it’s not the big trackers. I hope it’s not my pension fund.

Whoever it was will be in trouble on the open at 2.30pm UK time.

Also see: Miserly Growth Not Helping Q2 2017 Numbers for Snap.

There’s an update on my Snap spread bet here.

11 August 2017: Volatility Has Increased But…

Not by as much as some market commentary is making out:

11 August 2017: Weekly VIX Chart
11 August 2017: Weekly VIX Chart

Also see: VIX update and live VIX chart.

10 August 2017: Fold!

[8pm UK time] Piss! How is the Snap stock still stuck around the $13.50 level?

This is making me uneasy going into tonight’s earnings.

Closed £0.50/pt of my short of Snap @ $13.54 and taken a £50 loss on that. See Snap trade update.

Zombies of the Day

[5pm UK time] Apart from some fun on the open the Snap share price has turned into a zombie and is just drawn to the $13.50 level… again.

Although I doubt that level will hold with tonight’s earnings report.

Talking of zombies… anyone seen or heard from the British Prime Minister…

Theresa May Zombie Cartoon
Credit: New Statesman

10 August 2017: Snap, Crackle and Flop?

Anyone following Spread Bet Magazine will know I’m bearish about Snap Inc.

The new company numbers are due after today’s close.

I’m concerned about good numbers and thinking of reducing my short trade.

Let’s take another look at those poor Snap Q1 2017 numbers.

  • warningWarning for Snap Inc bears like me.

    Yesterday’s 5 minute chart is showing a lot of buying @ $13.50.
Snap Inc - 5 Minute Chart: 9 Aug 2017
5 Minute Chart for 9 August 2017

The average daily volume is 22m shares so that’s not easy to manipulate.

If this continues today then I’ll close or reduce my short before the Q2 earnings come out tonight. Read more.

10 August 2017: Battle of the Babies Boosts Gold

Gold gained $15 yesterday but there’s still no break of the long-term trend we’ve been watching.

Take a look at a great triangle pattern for gold.

(you’ve not missed out, it’s still a case of “no trade yet”).

10 August 2017: “I’m Not Gonna Have Time to Play Golf”

So, The Donald is off on a 17 day “working vacation”.

Is that like “working from home”?

  • trending_upBuy, Buy, Buy
The spread bet on “Total Trump Golf Hours” by the Donald on his (cough) working vacation: 68-72 hours.

4 hours a day? I think that’s worth a small buy.

It would be a “big buy” but writing all those thought provoking tweets must take a lot of time, planning and consultation….

And never one to contradict himself, or just talk a lot of bullshit, here’s Donald’s view of playing golf if you’re the POTUS.

(Sorry, the Total Trump Golfing Hours spread betting market is a made up market – unless Paddy Power catch on).

9 August 2017: Hopefully It’s Just Idiots with Handbags

  • trending_downAfter the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both hit fresh record highs it all got a bit soft yesterday evening.

    Rather than closing at a record high for the 10th day in a row the Dow took a tumble. The S&P 500 wasn’t far behind.

    The markets got more nervous when the Idiot-in-Chief warned North Korea that if they didn’t stop their nuclear programme then they would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

    The new UN sanctions could reduce North Korea’s export revenues by a third, they seem pretty tough. I’m not sure how Donald Trumps “my dad’s bigger than your dad” type rhetoric helps this strategy. Can he even strategise a game of noughts & crosses?

    The message back from the North Korean idiot didn’t help. News from Pyongyang said Kim Jong-un was considering missile strike at US base in Guam.

    The markets don’t like this kind of chat and hit the sell button.

    How serious is it for the markets? Assuming there’s no escalation then traders will soon get bored and start buying again.

  • trending_upSolid US Jobs data has boosted the US dollar.

    (Strong jobs data = possible rising wages = inflation = increased interest rates).

  • trending_upNo surprises that both the euro and the pound got weaker relative to the dollar and that helped the FTSE 100 and DAX spread betting markets.

  • warningWatch Out for a US Dollar Rebound

    A full dollar rebound is probably not in play yet, putting North Korea to one side, Trump is causing plenty of issues elsewhere for the US.

    However, as Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets has said,
In recent days, it has become apparent that after 5 months of losses, the dollar could well be susceptible to some kind of rebound.

Yesterday’s price action seems to confirm that there are some weak short positions on the dollar.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un Cartoon
Credit: Brian Adcock

7 August 2017: We Have a Big 7 Days for the Snap Stock

The Ichimoku Cloud on the 4 hour chart, below, suggests more selling but it’s more complex than that.

There was a solid bounce on Friday, there’s new company data due on Thursday and then more stock could hit the market a week today.

See Snap spread betting update.

Snap Inc Chart: 7 Aug 2017
Be careful with this one. Be very careful.

7 August 2017: Interesting Changes in Hedge Fund Trades

The weekly Commitments of Traders (COT) report is showing how the big speculators, i.e. Hedge Fund type speculators, have changed their positions from week to week.

On SBM we like to take a simple look at the long:short trade ratio. I.e. are traders getting increasingly long or short of a market?

  • trending_upIn last week’s report, hedge funds held 8 long trades:1 short trade of the Dow Jones. They’ve now reduced that ratio to ~5 longs:1 short of the Dow. So still pretty long.

  • trending_flatThe S&P 500 is rather different. The last report showed the long:short trade ratio at nearly 2:1, that’s now dropped flat to about 1:1

  • trending_upThe hedgies are getting slightly longer of gold, they were 1.7 long:1 short and are now 2.2:1

  • trending_upThe hedgies are also getting slightly longer of silver, they were 1.3:1 long, and are now 1.5:1

  • trending_upLike the metals, the hedge funds seem to be continuing with their recent streak of getting longer of US crude oil. They held 2.8 long trades:1 short trade in the previous report. They are now 3.1:1 long.

  • trending_flatThere is a lot of talk about USD’s fall and even a potential reversal but there’s little change in position by the big traders. The long:short ratio on the US dollar index, ticker: DXY, has been pretty much unchanged for the last 4 weekly reports and remains flat at ~1:1.

  • trending_upIf you’re looking for a trend, or a contrarian position, take a look at the Mexican Peso. The COT report shows the hedge funds are getting even longer of MXN (all COT reports are vs USD). The funds are now holding nearly 8 long trades of the peso for every short trade. If you are spread betting on USD/MXN then watch out for wide spreads and volatile markets.

4 August 2017: Donald Trump and the NFP at 209,000

  • trending_up209,000 new US jobs in July (183,000 Expected)
  • thumb_upUS unemployment down to 4.3%, i.e. the lowest rate since 2001
  • trending_flatWage growth unchanged with annual growth rate of 2.5%
  • trending_flatJobs in “food services and drinking” rose 53,000. These are often lower paid jobs
  • trending_flatThe reaction so far from the Dow Jones (Wall Street) is pretty muted
That means:

  • cloudIt’s back to the Donald Trump v Robert Mueller’s Grand Jury story
  • warningHow will the markets, which are just off record highs, take the Grand Jury story?
  • trending_downWill there be an unwinding of the stock market rise since Trump was made president?

4 August 2017: Grand Jury Time Baby

In honour of Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russian shenanigans with the US election, and hopefully also investigating all-things-Trump, we’ve added some of our favourite Donald Trump videos here.
  • warningWarning: many of the videos are crass, rude, stupid, not-for-kids etc.

4 August 2017: Changes to Open Spread Bets

  • thumb_upShort of Snap – Time to Open New Trades

    So far, Snap has been a very profitable and kindly dropped 200pts through our Limit order and bounced back up to allow new shorts. See Snap spread betting update.

  • thumb_downLong of AA PLC – It’s Closing Time!

    The AA PLC share price is plodding along… in the wrong direction.

    Time to take a small loss on that. See AA PLC spread betting update.

4 August 2017: Warning – It’s Non-Farm Payrolls Day

Watch out for volatility at 1.30pm (UK time).

If you are day trading, or just doing a range of very short-term speculative spread bets, then you may want to pause that from 1.25pm to 1.45pm… assuming the market has stopped spiking by 1.45pm.

3 August 2017: Hedge Funds Getting Longer of Gold?

We’ve updated our view on gold with a little more support data on how the hedge funds are adjusting their position on the metal.

See Gold Poised to Breakout Out of Long-Term Trend?

2 August 2017: AA PLC Shares to Bounce Back?

I’m expecting the stock to bounce and so I’ve had a small buy after yesterday’s sacking of the executive chairman for ‘gross misconduct’.

Looking forward to some salacious gossip coming out.

Apple Stock Price Up 5%

See Impressive Quarterly Numbers See Apple Shares Jump 5%.

Warning White House Revolving Door

In honour of our favourite White House Communications Director who only lasted 10 days, we’ve put together our favourite Anthony Scaramucci Cartoons here.

Credit: Dave Granlund / Political Cartoons

2 August 2017: Another Small Short of Snap

  • trending_down The Snap chart below is just too ugly. I’ve hopefully added to my short and put in an order to sell another £0.50 per ¢ short of Snap at $13.06.

    Having said that, if the order is filled, I’m still only £1 per ¢ short of Snap so I’m keeping the aggregate trade size pretty small for now.

1 August 2017: Snap Still Falling

The Snap Inc chart is still looking nasty… and I still have my small short on Snap.


31 July 2017: Is Gold Poised to Break Out of its Long-Term Trend?

Looking at the daily chart, gold is in a classic triangle that started in July 2016.

Decisive Breakout Due?

For more details see Gold Poised to Breakout Out of Long-Term Trend?

26 July 2017: I’ve Shorted Snap Inc.

I might be too late the party but the Snap chart looks hideous.

I’ve Shorted Snap Inc.

Snapping on it’s heels…

I’ve taken a small short at $14.03.

See my self-importantly titled view: Why I Shorted Snap.

New Warnings from the Markets

  • warningAn interesting one from the Radio 4 Today Programme. Laura Foll, a Fund Manager at Henderson Global Investors said:
We’re 8-9 years into a very long bull run. Valuations are above average so in order to keep that going you need genuinely good earnings growth.

In my trust we think valuations are relatively high, therefore we are being more cautious and reducing the gearing.

There are still some good buying opportunities out there. But we’re also more cautious because the markets have performed so strongly for such a long period of time.

Warning: S&P 500 P/E Ratio at Multi-Year High

  • warningThe S&P 500 earnings multiple is at a multi-year high of 26.

    The average S&P 500 P/E ratio over the last 100 years is about 15.

    That suggests some rather overpriced stocks.

Calm Before the Storm? VIX at Multi-Year Lows

  • warningThe VIX chart is showing that volatility is at multi-year lows.

    In fact, this is the lowest we’ve been since a Dec 2016… and not long before the 2007 Financial Crisis.

    Below, the long-term VIX chart, also see live VIX (volatility) chart.
Long-term Volatility Chart

25 July 2017: IMF or WTF?

  • trending_downThe FTSE had a poor day yesterday on the back of poor earnings. The IMF downgrade may or may not have had an impact

  • trending_downThe DAX dropped to a 3 month low. The strong euro isn’t helping. Neither is the fact that the German car manufacturers look like they may have been rather naughty

  • warningThe IMF downgraded UK and US growth outlook but after a series of poor forecasts investors seem to be ignoring them. As Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets said:
The markets have become much more cynical about the IMF’s economic predictions with the result that the markets have, in some circles, started to be seen as useful as an icy windscreen on a winter’s morning.

US Tech Sector Update
  • trending_upThere’s plenty of earnings data this week with Google (Alphabet) updating the markets yesterday. Earnings came in ahead of expectations and that sent the share price temporarily above the $1,000 level in after-hours trading. The slip back below $1,000 was due to disappointing internal data.

  • trending_upThe NASDAQ 100 could hit another record high this week as we get more data from Amazon and Facebook.

And Don’t Forget…

Trump: No One Knows the System Better Than Me

Also see Donald Trump videos.

For more, please see Dear Spread Betting Diary.

What’s New on SpreadBetMagazine?

We have worked for the spread betting companies in the past. We spread bet. We trade CFDs. We have seen much of what goes on, both good and bad.

Hopefully we can cover some industry gossip too (even when it irritates our advertisers).

Our aim with Spread Bets Magazine is to:

  • arrow_forwardProvide some informative views on how you can improve your trading. We think most trading losses are due to school boy errors.We don’t have a magic pill or ’20 amazing trading secrets’ but if we can help you become more disciplined then will be hopefully save you some money
  • arrow_forwardGive more detail on how to make the spread betting sites work for you
  • arrow_forwardOffer personal views but not trading tips. Note, we are not regulated to give advice and that is probably a good thing!
  • arrow_forwardShed some light on the poor industry practices
  • arrow_forwardPoint out were the industry is pretty fair e.g. we know that many spread bettors don’t like the rolling charges (aka overnight financing charges). However, investors need to remember that when you spread bet or trade CFDs that you are borrowing from the relevant broker. If the broker charges you a rate of “(baserate +2.5%)/365” per night, that’s a reasonable borrowing rate. It’s probably better than your mortgage rate.
  • arrow_forwardFlatter our egos and pretend we know something useful (mostly by pointing out all the school boy errors we have made in the past)
  • arrow_forwardAdd a little colour, politics and humour to what can be a very dry topic – also see Dear Diary
Sometimes we all need this kind of trading assistance...

A Wee Disclaimer and Possible Conflict of Interest

We provide this site for free and rely primarily on advertising revenues for our funding.

Readers should assume that we could well have commercial relationships with the various brokers, third parties, writers etc. on SpreadBetMagazine.com.

We do our best to be impartial but if you think we’re not being impartial please contact us or, better still, if you think a broker review is unfair or their service has changed for the worse etc. please add a comment on that review.

The more user comments we have on the broker review pages the more balanced the reviews will be.

Good luck

Alex Turner
Senior Editor

AuthorAlex Turner

Senior Editor, SpreadBetMagazine