Dimitri Speck

Dimitri Speck

Dimitri Speck specializes in pattern recognition and trading systems development. He publishes the website www.SeasonalCharts.com, which features free-of-charge seasonal charts for interested investors. In his book The Gold Cartel (see link on the right hand side), commodities expert Dimitri Speck discusses gold price manipulation and modern-day credit excess. His commodities trading strategy Stay-C has won awards all over Europe. He is the publisher of the web site Seasonal Charts as well as of the Bloomberg app Seasonax.

Articles by Dimitri Speck

Bitcoin: What is the Best Day of the Week to Buy?

BTC average daily performance

Shifting Patterns. In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed Bitcoin’s seasonal pattern in the course of a year. In this issue I will show an analysis of the returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.
It seems to me that Bitcoin is particularly interesting for this type of study: it exhibits spectacular price gains, it is a very new instrument and it is unregulated. Moreover, it trades around the clock, even on weekends.

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The Strongest Season for Silver Has Only Just Begun

Silver price in terms of the USD

Commodities as an Alternative. Our readers are presumably following commodity prices. Commodities often provide an alternative to investing in stocks – and they have clearly discernible seasonal characteristics. Thus heating oil tends to be cheaper in the summer than during the heating season in winter, and wheat is typically more expensive before the harvest then thereafter.

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The Interesting Seasonal Trends of Precious Metals

Prices in financial and commodity markets exhibit seasonal trends. We have for example shown you how stocks of pharmaceutical companies tend to rise in winter due to higher demand, or the end-of-year rally phenomenon (last issue), which can be observed almost every year. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are subject to seasonal trends as well.

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How Dangerous is the Month of October?

The largest one-day declines in the DJIA in history

A Month with a Bad Reputation. A certain degree of nervousness tends to suffuse global financial markets when the month of October approaches. The memories of sharp slumps that happened in this month in the past – often wiping out the profits of an entire year in a single day – are apt to induce fear. However, if one disregards outliers such as 1987 or 2008, October generally delivers an acceptable performance.

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“Sell In May And Go Away” – A Reminder: In 9 Out Of 11 Countries It Makes Sense To Do So

Most people are probably aware of the adage “sell in May and go away”. This popular seasonal Wall Street truism implies that the market’s performance is far worse in the six summer months than in the six winter months. Numerous studies have been undertaken in this context particularly with respect to US stock markets, and they  confirm that the stock market on average exhibits relative weakness in the summer.

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Global Turn-of-the-Month Effect – An Update

Good vs. Bad Seasonal Timing

The “turn-of-the-month” effect is one of the most fascinating stock market phenomena. It describes the fact that price gains primarily tend to occur around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically far less profitable for investors. The effect has been studied extensively in the US market. In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have shown a table detailing the extent of the “turn-of-the-month” effect in the eleven largest international stock markets.

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The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries

Rocket

I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.

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Trendline Broken: Similarities to 1929, 1987 and the Nikkei in 1990 Continue

S&P 500 Large Cap Index, Apr 2015 - Mar 2018

In an article published in these pages in early March, I have discussed the similarities between the current chart pattern in the S&P 500 Index compared to the patterns that formed ahead of the crashes of 1929 and 1987, as well as the crash-like plunge in the Nikkei 225 Index in 1990. The following five similarities were decisive features of these crash patterns.

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US Stock Market: Conspicuous Similarities with 1929, 1987 and Japan in 1990

S&P 500 Large Cap Index, Apr 2015 - Mar 2018

There are good reasons to suspect that the bull market in US equities has been stretched to the limit. These include inter alia: high fundamental valuation levels, as e.g. illustrated by the Shiller P/E ratio (a.k.a. “CAPE”/ cyclically adjusted P/E); rising interest rates; and the maturity of the advance. Near the end of a bull market cycle there is always the question of when a decline will begin, and above all, how large will it be.

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Market Efficiency? The Euro is Looking Forward to the Weekend!

Room

As I have shown in previous issues of Seasonal Insights, various financial instruments are demonstrating peculiar behavior in the course of the week: the S&P 500 Index is typically strong on Tuesdays, Gold on Fridays and Bitcoin on Tuesdays (similar to the S&P 500 Index). Several readers have inquired whether currencies exhibit such patterns as well. Are these extremely large markets also home to such statistical anomalies, or is market efficiency winning out in this case?

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Seasonality of Individual Stocks – an Update

Bull Bear

Readers are very likely aware of the “Halloween effect” or the Santa Claus rally. The former term refers to the fact that stocks on average tend to perform significantly worse in the summer months than in the winter months, the latter term describes the typically very strong advance in stocks just before the turn of the year. Both phenomena apply to the broad stock market, this is to say, to benchmark indexes such as the S&P 500 or the DJIA.

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The FOMC Meeting Strategy: Why It May Be Particularly Promising Right Now

Hiking Trail

As readers know, investment and trading decisions can be optimized with the help of statistics. One way of doing so is offered by the FOMC meeting strategy. A study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2011 examined the effect of FOMC meetings on stock prices. The study concluded that these meetings have a substantial impact on stock prices – and contrary to what most investors would probably tend to expect, before rather than after the committee announces its monetary policy decision.

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2018: The Weakest Year in the Presidential Election Cycle Has Begun

Dow Jones Index 1900 - 2015

Our readers are probably aware of the influence the US election cycle has on the stock market. After Donald Trump was elected president, a particularly strong rally in stock prices ensued.  Contrary to what many market participants seem to believe, trends in the stock market depend only to a negligible extent on whether a Republican or a Democrat wins the presidency.

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The Santa Claus Rally is Especially Pronounced in the DAX

Santa Clause

Every year a certain stock market phenomenon is said to recur, anticipated with excitement by investors: the Santa Claus rally. It is held that stock prices typically rise quite frequently and particularly strongly just before the turn of the year. I want to show you the Santa Claus rally in the German DAX Index as an example. Price moves are often exaggerated in the German stock market, which leads to quite pronounced – and hence profitable – seasonal trends.

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The Precious Metals Bears’ Fear of Fridays

Die Angst

In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have shown that the gold price behaves quite peculiarly in the course of the trading week. On average, prices rise almost exclusively on Friday. It is as though investors in this market were mired in deep sleep for most of the week.

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The Strange Behavior of Gold Investors from Monday to Thursday

Donald Rumsfeld

Known and Unknown Anomalies. Readers are undoubtedly aware of one or another stock market anomaly, such as e.g. the frequently observed weakness in stock markets in the summer months, which the well-known saying “sell in May and go away” refers to. Apart from such widely known anomalies, there are many others though, which most investors have never heard of.

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Is a Rapid Advance in the Japanese Stock Market Imminent?

Nikkei 225, Jan - Dec 1970 - 2017

The Japanese stock market is quite unique: it would need to rally by approximately 80% to reach its former historical peak. What’s more, said peak was attained on the final trading day of 1989, more than 25 years ago. In short, Japanese stocks have been anything but a good investment in recent years.

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1987, 1997, 2007… Just How Crash-Prone are Years Ending in 7?

Dow Jones 10 Year Cycle, 1987 - 2015

Bad Reputation. Years ending in 7, such as the current year 2017, have a bad reputation among stock market participants. Large price declines tend to occur quite frequently in these years. Just think of 1987, the year in which the largest one-day decline in the US stock market in history took place: the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 22.61 percent in a single trading day. Or recall the year 2007, which marked the beginning of the GFC (“great financial crisis”).

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S&P 500 Index: A Single Day Beats the Entire Week!

US S&P 500 Index, 2000 - 2017

Many market participants believe simple phenomena in the stock market are purely random events and cannot recur consistently. Indeed, there is probably no stock market “rule” that will remain valid forever. However, there continue to be certain statistical phenomena in the stock market – even quite simple ones – that have shown a tendency to persist for very long time periods.

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Is Historically Low Volatility About to Expand?

Dow Jones: 21-Day Volatility

You have probably noticed it already: stock market volatility has recently all but disappeared. This raises an important question for every investor: Has the market established a permanent plateau of low volatility, or is the current period of low volatility just the calm before the storm?

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Russell 2000: The Dangerous Season Begins Now

Readers are surely aware of the saying “sell in May and go away”. It is one of the best-known and oldest stock market truisms. And the saying is justified. In my article “Sell in May and Go Away – in 9 out of 11 Countries it Makes Sense to Do So” in the May 01 2017 issue of Seasonal Insights I examined the so-called Halloween effect in great detail.

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“Sell in May”: Good Advice – But Is There a Better Way?

right time

If you “sell in May and go away”, you are definitely on the right side of the trend from a statistical perspective: While gains were achieved in the summer months in three of the eleven largest stock markets in the world, they amounted to less than one percent on average. In six countries stocks even exhibited losses!

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Boosting Stock Market Returns With A Simple Trick

Ballooning S&P 500, Jan 2012 - 2017

Trading methods based on statistics represent an unusual approach for many investors. Evaluation of a security’s fundamental merits is not of concern, even though it can of course be done additionally. Rather, the only important criterion consists of typical price patterns determined by statistical examination of past trends.

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How to Outperform Hedge Funds with Just a Few Trades

Not everything is simple – but some things actually are.

In their efforts to beat the market, many investors are spending a lot of time searching for rare undiscovered gems or sophisticated trading rules. There is actually a simpler way. I will show below how one could have beaten the market by a sizable margin over approximately the past 90 years – with only two trades per month, while being invested only one third of the time and without employing any leverage.

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The Seasonal Trends of Precious Metals

Platinum Crystal

Long Term Seasonal Price Trends Prices in financial and commodity markets are exhibiting seasonal trends. This applies to the precious metals gold, silver, platinum and palladium as well. The chart below depicts the seasonal trends of the gold price over a time period of 45 years.

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Crude Oil Has Entered a Seasonal Downtrend

Many market observers are probably expecting crude oil prices to enter a seasonal uptrend due the beginning heating season. After all, the heating season in the Northern hemisphere means that energy consumption will rise. The effect of the heating season on demand is however offset by other factors, such as the use of alternative energy sources and fixed prices agreements made in advance. The question is: what is the actual seasonal trend in crude oil?

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