“No matter what happens, there’s going to be volatility, because someone is wrong.”
And as global chief of risk advisory at Credit Suisse, Mark Connors knows something about volatility.
Upcoming events have divided the market into two warring camps: the bulls and the bears. The first event is Tuesday’s election. The other is next month’s looming interest rate hike.
The bulls are a cheery lot right now. Election? I’m not worried, they say. And a rate hike just proves the economy’s shaping up.
In the other camp are the bears. They think the bulls are just whistling Dixie. The election could prove a real shocker, they say. And the last time the Fed raised rates, the market plunged 10% over the next two months, don’t you know.
The guns open fire Tuesday. One side will win by the time they go quiet. One side will lose.
We can’t guarantee who wins or loses or if the market rises or falls next week, next month or the month after that.
But you can go ahead and put us down for a bet on volatility…
As Valerie Bogard, analyst at Tabb Group has it: “There are a lot of events in the last quarter — the [U.S.] election and whether the Fed decides to raise rates or some unknown market event — that could bring more volatility.”
One way to tell the bulls from the bears is their exposure to stocks. The bulls are 47% more invested in stocks than the bears.
That’s the largest spread since just after the S&P hit bottom in February, according to Bloomberg.
Before that, it says, the last time the spread exceeded 40% was in August and September of 2015 — the S&P’s worst two-month span since 2011.
Connors thinks today’s situation looks lots like those periods. And thus, all the road signs point to an outbreak of volatility…
Bloomberg: “It’s the polarization that bothers analysts, who say this kind of positioning has set the table for marketwide volatility in the past and is worrisome when an event like Tuesday’s vote looms.”
And Bloomberg says the election’s the real wild card:
While traders are pricing in a 78% chance of a rate hike in December, the election threatens to act as a catalyst before the Fed meeting arrives. While the market has been pricing in a Hillary Clinton victory, if Donald Trump wins or the Democrats sweep Congress, the result may be selling, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Tobias Levkovich.
Despite the heavy rain drenching Hillary, markets still think she’ll win Tuesday.
For example, Nick Colas, chief market strategist at Convergex, told ABC News that “The market is still pricing in a strong chance of a Clinton win.”
“We continue to think that she has a pretty good lead electorally,” adds Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
Oddschecker.com compiled data from a bunch of gambling sites. The results show Trump’s odds are currently 5-2 — against. A $2 bet on Trump fetches you $5, in other words. A $5 bet on Clinton only gets you $2.
But maybe they’re reading the cards wrong. Need we remind them of Brexit?
All the rich fellows put money on Remain, so the pool was deep. But more actual bets were on Leave. They were just betting nickels and dimes, though, unlike the fat cats. So the Leave pool was shallower than Remain’s. Bloomberg:
The phenomenon is similar to the pre-Brexit action, when the odds favored what most sober-headed pundits believed would be the result: Remain. However, more actual bets were placed on Brexit. The odds reflected how much money was wagered, not how many individual bets were placed. In this case, more money is being bet on Clinton but Trump has attracted a larger number of wagers.
Does that show Brexit 2.0 is looming?
Jim Rickards was one of a spoonful of analysts who called Brexit in advance. His readers were able to double their money overnight on the ensuing volatility.
And the same antennae he used to predict Brexit are pointing straight in Trump’s direction:
“The mainstream media, pundits, markets and betting venues all say that the election is practically over and Hillary Clinton has a victory in the bag. But scientific polls and powerful anecdotal evidence all say the opposite. The election will definitely be close, and we see strong evidence that Trump will win.”
(Jim has the perfect “win-win” way to play the election. You can score 300% gains in a matter of days if Trump wins. And if Hillary wins, you can still fetch 46% gains. More below.)
We close with a note of advice from Pravit Chintawongvanich, head derivatives strategist at Macro Risk Advisors:
Faced with a binary event like the election, investors simply cannot go into it unhedged, especially with the memory of Brexit still fresh.
One side will win. One side will lose…
Volatility — you can bet on it.
Literally, in fact. Below, Jim Rickards shows you the “heads you win, tails you don’t lose” way to play Tuesday’s election. What is it? Read on.
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This story originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning