A full August

Looks like its shaping up to be a very full August.

The S&P 500 lost almost 60 points and 5% today, the largest one-day decline in almost three years, since the hurricane-halcyon days of autumn 2008. And led earlier by the almost as large sell-offs over in Europe. The slumbering stupor of the summer market months does seem to be over. With greater daily trend and range extensions come great opportunities; and this is definitely the time for a speculator to dust-off his moth-balled shorter term strategies, get ready to ramp up his leverage on notice, charge the net and play a tight intense offensive game of volley risk-on/risk-off. Game on.

[Just realised I said the same things some time back, on an old post taking a musical view of the markets, La So Mi Re Do ? The markets are steppin’ and a-trippin’:

The equity markets have been doing a march-in-place in even time for the last week, almost staccato-like. Of course, in the week prior to that, markets danced a graceful glissando in a quick climb through their scales (arguably 7 levels-notes of resistance/support on the charts; 5 if I leave out two minor levels).

One wonders if the current ranging may be a marking of time before rising to a further crescendo. Or perhaps a halt is being called on a short-term top; and we may be seeing the start of a downward stepping through the scales.
If so, rather than down through the 7 notes/levels (of the heptatonic scale), this return may take the faster path through the 5 pentatonic tones of traditional Chinese music :

宮 商 角 徵 羽
Do Re Mi So La

Here is a famous tune based on the simple arrangement of stepping down the traditional chinese musical scale:
(first line is an even stepping-down, 2nd line a rescaled stepping-down, 3rd line slows with a repetitive range before the obligatory returning rise)

La So Mi Re Do
Mi Re Do La So
So La So La Do Re Mi So

《滄海一聲笑》 or A Laugh at the Sentient Seas:


In any case, looks like the sleepy slumber of summer is truly over. While breadth and volume participation in the cash markets (S&P500) may be attributed to dubious machinations in the less than desirable financial/agency names, volume in the futures have gloriously broken out.

Welcome to the hurricane-halcyon days of autumn.
This can make or break the year…



This can make or break the year indeed…

But unfortunately, I will be sidelined for much of this August, with two weeks taken up for military reservist training. Darn. And just when things seemed to be getting really interesting in the markets.
Am a little miffed at this actually, cuz the last time the markets showed such tantalizing daily ranges, during the Lehman market meltdown of 2008, I was also stuck in reservist training, and was forced to watch the proceedings on CNN from a tiny TV screen in camp (Spore’s military camps severely restrict the bringing in of personal laptops, smartphones and other electronic recording devices, even for reservists), kicking myself that entire week for having to sit out some of the largest intra-day trading ranges in history.
[But of course, it could easily have turned out the wrong way for me too, so…]

Managed to dig up some words I wrote after that fateful week of the Lehman meltdown in the autumn of 2008:

For the past week I have donned green and done my part in protecting this country. And of course it has to be the week for the markets to move in its largest intra and inter-day ranges in recent history. Sigh, some of the largest moves in the markets took place this year when I was away on reservist training.

Spending time with large gatherings of people, especially ones wearing army green, leaves me dissipated. Will probably need some time amongst green of a different nature before coming back to the markets.

If today does prove to be the watershed day marking the end of the 28-month Risk-On rally since the recession low of 1Q2009, global markets are in for an interesting time ahead indeed. Will need to make sure my two-week interruption is as least costly (as much for opportunity cost as in real terms) as possible…

Its finally confirmed. The Singapore Presidential Election will be on 27th August.

On the heels of the watershed May general election which saw the opposition winning a record 6 seats, the highest number in 40 years (hey, don’t knock it; this is already a milestone in Sporean politics), the election of the President (a non-executive, largely ceremonial head of state endowed with some veto powers; but politically significant in that it is the only directly-elected office in the land) may potentially provide some spice to the current political landscape. And with four credible candidates of whom at least 2 can arguably be seen as non-Establishment, this should be a good contest.

In any case, many events abound for this month of August. With next Tuesday being Spore’s National Day and preparations well underway for the ‘celebratory Mass’ or National Day Parade (NDP) that takes place every year.

[Timeout for some school-time gossip:
I was just recently informed that this year, a little snafu took place during the preparations and rehearsals last month, embarrassing the usually clinically-efficient NDP organizing committee, regarding an apparent copyright infringement of a Lady Gaga song when they changed the lyrics into a ditzy ditty about something called the Fun Pack Song(?).

This is what I could find of this apparently infamous, totally panned by the public, and since withdrawn and deleted song:

NDP 2011 CR3 (Fun Pack Song, _Bad Romance – Lady Gaga):

The Animated Funpack Song!:
(with the lyrics)

And my sources informed me that the chairman of the NDP organizing committee this year happens to be a Colonel OTZ, our classmate from school a long time ago (and who was one of the three President’s Scholars of our cohort).


Oh dear, TZ, what happened… Those lyrics…

TZ used to be a fine musician, and leader of the orchestra…

(Btw, I thought TZ organised the NDP already some years back? Why is he doing it again?)


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