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Guest Post: Ominous Similarities

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Tony Pallotta of

Ominous Similarities

Dramatic title I realize but look at the charts below and ask yourself if this is purely coincidence or something more telling. Regulars to this site have read posts comparing the current market to that of late 2007. From equities to credit markets to volatility and more the similarities across asset classes has been rather striking.

The basis for these comparisons was the belief that at major inflection points markets are more about psychology than they are technicals and or macro data. Since human nature never changes patterns will repeatedly play out as discussed by Jesse Livermore (the following is from a book discussing his trading beliefs).

“He observed that human emotions collectively had major impacts on the movement of stock prices and Markets in general, ultimately creating patterns that kept repeating.”

Since late June these charts have continued to track very well. Most recently the final move to Point F and subsequent sell off has been eerily similar including the candlestick patterns as highlighted below.

Next comes the sell signal. Notice the Skew Vix divergence below. The accuracy from a day to day basis is not 100% but the correlations are enough to point towards further selling. In fact I referenced this on Tuesday even while the ES futures were still flat.

Next comes the sell signal. Notice the Skew Vix divergence below. The accuracy from a day to day basis is not 100% but the correlations are enough to point towards further selling. In fact I referenced this on Tuesday even while the ES futures were still flat.

In essence of full disclosure below is my current trading portfolio. Please note this is not investment advice.

I am currently short SPX via long SPY puts for both August and September and long SPY August debit put spreads. I did sell some SPY August puts today to offset the September puts I bought earlier in the week. The result my position size is the same but I was able to manage risk by shifting to a future expiration for about the same price. In other words I have the same capital at risk but have an additional month of theta.


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Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:41 | 1500386 caerus
caerus's picture

holy title ever...very appropriate...and you quoted livermore?  bravo...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:10 | 1500443 Michael
Michael's picture

Screw this subject.

When are we going to start talking about how many layoffs are involved with cuts in government spending?

When's the first anaversary of ZIRP, or did I miss it?

My comments are moderated. How quaint.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:39 | 1500493 jomama
jomama's picture

not on ZH they ain't.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:33 | 1500516 HITMAN56
HITMAN56's picture

Nic Cage making his forecast, approx 3:17 into this one....

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 09:55 | 1500869 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Obviously, I disagree with the poster. I think the fat easy money is already made in the stock index shorts; that's why I took profits this morning; there's still automatic 401K buying on every month; and still too many people who want to buy the dip, (in stocks). I regard this article as a typical, "look at my system" article; it gives a signal when it's already over. The vix bs. I wouldn't touch with a long stick. Just look at the daily bar charts and the weekly charts. most of the time, there's nothing that needs doing; sometimes there is. Maybe I'm completely wrong in taking profits today; we'll have to wait and see. I felt that the risk/reward ratio had increased too much.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 09:58 | 1500880 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

I'm with government starts cutting goes with it.  We NEED the cut the government by many jobs is that?  And we know...government jobs are usually GOOD jobs.  This de/recession ain't going anywhere until we get some jobs again.  The best thing would be bringing back the NRA and putting all these people on welfare and unemployed back to being productive.  Rebuild the highways, bridges, rails...etc.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 07:16 | 1500544 Zeilschip
Zeilschip's picture

What does skew VIX indicate exactly? Open interest in out-of-the-money SPX options?

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 09:48 | 1500841 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Closed my short of the DJIA today at 12,264, for $10,900+; the original position was posted here on the day and hour I put it on. Closed my Dec. 2011 Silver today at $40.110 for $31,800; that position was also posted here when I put it on. I'm always thinking about Livermore, and the tone of the charts; simple daily bar charts; are the bears fed now, are they bored? what about the timing, has it been too long since it was profitable to be long? Only tops and bottoms interest me. I would never look at any charts like these posted here. Look at the daily bar chart for AAPL; it was a textbook illustration of a tulip bulb run-up and blow off; but all the comments were about it going higher; the chart was just saying, hey I'm done now; stick a fork in me. I didn't short AAPL; I mentioned it here. When you see the evidence of irrational buying; the next thing to do is to wait for it to ripen; then short it. 

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:41 | 1500387 AhhhItBurns
AhhhItBurns's picture

I cant hear you! LALALALA--- Japan, Drought ---LALALALA

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:56 | 1500402 gangland
gangland's picture


Well On And On And On And On I Can't Stop Y'All 'Til The Early Morn'
So Rock Rock Y'All Tick Tock Y'All To The Beat Y'All
C'mon And Rock Y'All


Everybody's Rapping Like It's A Commercial Actin' Like Life Is A
Big Commercial So This Is What I've Got To Say To You All Be True To
Yourself And You Will Never Fall And Now I'd Like To Pass The Mic To


Yes Yes Y'All And Yes Yes Y'All I'm Always On Time Never The Less
Y'All And That's Right Y'All, I Shed Light Y'All I've Got No Time In
My Life To Get Uptight Y'All So What You Gonna Say That I Don't
Know Already? I'm Like Clyde And I'm Rockin' Steady But Time Flies
When You're Having Fun So Mike D C'mon And Get Some


jackson heights queens nyc bichezzz



Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:41 | 1500388 Selah
Selah's picture

Since human nature never changes patterns will repeatedly play out as discussed by Jesse Livermore...

What does Jesse have to say about computers?


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:43 | 1500392 caerus
caerus's picture

you guys are the best...if you want to trade for a living then read livermore...smartest group of fuckers i've ever ran across...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:50 | 1500399 Jambo Mambo Bill
Jambo Mambo Bill's picture

"Trading 4 living..."? You meant playing video games with your money?

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:53 | 1500400 caerus
caerus's picture

 i respect your opinion...but read jesse's book for christ sake..or play galaga...whatever

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:29 | 1500423 margaris
margaris's picture

poor livermore.... all the money and success couldnt stop him from commiting suicide...

Sometimes I dont undestand successful people!

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:59 | 1500457 caerus
caerus's picture weird was it that his last wife had four? previous husband suicides? man was goddamm briliiant

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:47 | 1500472 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Jesse was prong to periods of depression. Good book- excellant read.


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 07:06 | 1500555 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

He was also subject to short bouts of losing all his money, which -- along with his 'unlucky' wife -- may have aided the suicide decision.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 10:02 | 1500893 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Presently, the first search result on Google for ... "jesse livermore" "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" filetype:pdf ... is the auto-biography in question. I reccomend saving a local copy if you wish to read, as one never knows when the internet will decide to reorganize itself.

In a much older thread, a ZHer was kind enough to link it on a Sat morning ... I spent all day reading it ... fascinating story ... and valuable insights into the elite stock market culture (i.e. the makers). This is a must read if you actively partake in the markets and haven't done so already.

JM seemed to have gambling issues and was prone to depression. My understanding is that he trust funded his family to protect them from himself (he knew he would spend the money). I forget which iteration of penniless he decided to end his life, was it four? Broke at 40 after the kind of wealth he had would be hard to swallow for anyone and I am sure his life was much more complicated. Why win again to lose again? He wasn't bad at math!

Brilliant doesn't necessarily mean happy.



Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:20 | 1500415 caerus
caerus's picture

in the spirit of fairness let me say that jesse livermore was the greatest trader who ever lived..i guess you dont trade for a living else you would know this...good luck with your shitty humor and terrible mustache...i hope for you and your family that you never trade a godadmm dime take an english class if you can afford it...there are enough stupid people in this country who still wish to listen to your bile.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:30 | 1500421 Jambo Mambo Bill
Jambo Mambo Bill's picture

Don’t get too excited amigo! What I meant was with active bots, HFT and corp. manipulations, trading today in no more than a gambling game...

Respect for everything else... including Jesse boy

All the best.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:31 | 1500426 caerus
caerus's picture

if you're serious then that's my apologies...i hope you have a fine tomorrow

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:38 | 1500436 Jambo Mambo Bill
Jambo Mambo Bill's picture

Relax dude!

By the way, think about getting some Spanish lessons... It could be "useful" later the way we going...

Hope 4 a great opportunity to reload PMs soon with a coming DC deal... I hope...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:42 | 1500441 Transformer
Transformer's picture

Especially if you live in the Southern half of the country.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:31 | 1500541 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Consider moving to the Mexican interior. Empty land, lonely women getting a check from the USA but no men around. Let's dod a reverse migration.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 07:04 | 1500554 Mad Mad Woman
Mad Mad Woman's picture

You are asking to get shot by those drug cartels. I wouldn't touch living in Mexico with a 10 ft pole. Even the areas around the resorts are not safe anymore. I look for kidnappings of tourists from the resorts in the near future.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:44 | 1500442 caerus
caerus's picture

im sorry dude...i get fiery about livermore...hold your pms i think...maybe get some jim rogers ag...its still cheap

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 08:25 | 1500626 Help Is Not Coming
Help Is Not Coming's picture

Humans program the computers.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:46 | 1500393 gangland
gangland's picture



no sleep till crooklyn bichezz


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:47 | 1500396 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

I get it Tony, but one glaring difference not shown in the charts - QE. The Bernanke put is in play now and save the markets at all cost is the mantra. Wonderful work. TA rarely lies, but till the Fed is out of business I'm skeptical (and I'm one of the biggest permabears on the planet). They have to save the markets (if they can) till at least the next election (and till they get a few more military "practice" sessions in like they are running in Boston).

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:54 | 1500401 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

Yup, practice sessions are going on in Boston. But we aren't China either...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:38 | 1500489 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

no you're much worse than China.. 3 murderous illegal foreign occupations and looking to make it 5 wars soon

China sends manpower, investment and commercial groups abroad to conduct business in Australia, Iran, Africa, South America... the deranged cretins of the US Govt sends the Goon Squad shooting from the hip and airfreights pallets of bribe money to prop up corrupt umpopular Govts ...great contrast in foreign policy, is it working? ...has warmongering America throwing its military obesity around the globe got it any friends???

Wakey Wakey

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 07:19 | 1500563 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

I may be wrong, but you missed his point.  From his handle and other comments on here, I believe he was referencing firearms, not government.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:49 | 1500498 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"They have to save the markets (if they can) till at least the next election (and till they get a few more military "practice" sessions in like they are running in Boston)."

They're trying to extend the markets for a while longer, but I wouldn't count on a "next election" -- there are enough Executive Orders, and the Patriot Act, in place for Obomber to call it off when they are ready! Certainly expect more "practice" sessions in the major cities...and also watch for a ramp up in TSA activity away from the airports. That will be the sign that they're close to clamping down (they won't wait until after the market has crashed).

On a related topic, I heard on the BBC that Australia is also now about to institute FEMA-type "Fusion Centres" -- on the pretence that they are to stop "biker gangs". Riiiiiiiiight........ Look out,'s not only the "carbon tax" that points to an NWO takeover there, too.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:57 | 1500527 Advoc8tr
Advoc8tr's picture

Supreme court recently over ruled and reversed their attempts to make it illegal to associate with groups on 'their' list. But you are right - we getting it from all angles at the moment. They are trying to use the murdoch scandal in Brittain to restrict and license the media ... already suggesting that any anti-climate change coverage is evil and 100% the work of right wing extremist nutjobs (how convenient world events can be)

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 01:59 | 1500403 chump666
chump666's picture

sounds good.  but a patten we haven't seen for a long time, maybe never.  US gets a credit down grade, looses the AAA the USD as a base currency sends the trade (as in export import markets) markets into chaos.  kinda banking on that.

best trade advice was from a lowly oldschool guy that traded futures, always said that 'the markets aint science just art and art is about taming chaos'...something like that.

anyways watch spanish spreads.  they blowout againm rumor has it French spreads will start to look like rating downgrade. dumb arse french, love the women though

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:57 | 1500478 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

truly cataclysmic. and more like "taming the shrew" i would say, but "good enough for government work." the original problem was "counter-party" risk, yes? the government did the...i don't want to say expected...perhaps "rational" thing and became the counter-party itself. that's a lot of risk in place where no would want any, no? and now Fukushima--Libya--the euro crisis and the catastrophe in Norway. all eyes on Washington. You tell me what you see. Now excuse while i try and go to Adam Sandler's "happy place."

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:01 | 1500404 gangland
gangland's picture


 i got news for ya you ll be suckin like a leech



Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:08 | 1500407 gwar5
gwar5's picture



Peter Schiff: The Dow today (July23) is already at the March 2009 lows of 6500 priced in gold. 

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:10 | 1500408 caerus
caerus's picture

schiff is the shit

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:01 | 1500454 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

And the paper (bag) holders don't have a frickin' clue.


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 07:10 | 1500557 Re-Discovery
Re-Discovery's picture

bbbbut . . . gold's going to 'correct' to 1200 . . .

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:16 | 1500414 Bear
Bear's picture

After your post ES drops 3 points in 10 minutes ... Congratulations TD moves the market ... again

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:24 | 1500418 falun bong
falun bong's picture


(had to say that because it's my first zh post...)

Livermore, Buffett, yada, yada. All that is ancient history now that we have the Chairsatan (and his Chinese counterparts...)!

(Ross Perot's giant sucking sound is our standard of living reverting to the global mean...)



Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:35 | 1500433 caerus
caerus's picture

blasphemy!  read livermore...then read him again...then read him a third time...them make some money

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:45 | 1500444 Transformer
Transformer's picture

Yeah, that Perot guy really got it right, huh.  You talk about predicting what was coming.....  If he'd gotten elected... well....  who knows.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:53 | 1500450 caerus
caerus's picture

not sure what that means...but livermore was the best...if you have the time read his book...please...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:29 | 1500422 CombustibleAssets
CombustibleAssets's picture

I smell something burning...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:40 | 1500440 caerus
caerus's picture

i farted

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:58 | 1500456 PhattyBuoy
PhattyBuoy's picture

Clever ... !

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:37 | 1500435 oogs66
oogs66's picture

the market does seem incredibly complacent and the intraday volatility is reminiscent of moves from back in 2007

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:51 | 1500447 caerus
caerus's picture

its all going down man...short or stay out...our leaders (surprise) have lied  to us.../drunk

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:40 | 1500438 gangland
gangland's picture


phoney rappers who dont write/excite

"Phony rappers who do not write
Phony rappers who do not excite
Phony rappers, check it out, aight

Verse One: Kamaal (Q-Tip)

Yo, I was riding the train
And this Puerto Rican kid said simple and plain
Let's battle
It kinda took me by surprised
Cuz the brother was moving wit his eyes on the prize
I said screw it, I ain't got nuttin to lose but um
But I got to do this shit real quick so um
Hurry up kid, bust your joints and then I'll bust mine
And I be out cuz I got to see this hottie, he said ok
Now check it, check it out, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that's what he said
Then I came back and just fucked up his head
Cuz yo, he thought an MC who was seen on TV
Couldn't hold the shit down in New York City"




Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:53 | 1500452 besnook
besnook's picture

this is a 2fer deal. take the market down to get the debt ceiling increase and qe n+1 which will ramp the market to infinity and beyond. brilliant

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:05 | 1500459 caerus
caerus's picture

goodnight you glorious your your peas...i love you alll...btw short the shit out of this fake market....

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:11 | 1500460 chump666
chump666's picture


07:00 (GMT) - Spain Jun Retail Sales -7.4% y/y (Prev: -5.8)


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:00 | 1500462 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

Ominous Similaritiies, complete with a comet run, Moma Mia! ...and the rise of Rosemary's Baby (AKA strike out Queen, President O'Zero The Hero), with a Bohemian rhapsody chart topper  ''change'' up ...hit out of the bottomless pit.

P.S. Abstract (Ominous Similarities) out of left field: ''comet run'' Elenin ''Moma Mia'' Mia Farrow  the ''strike out'' reference  combined with the ''O'' in the Black Sabbath Zero The Hero President Beast  the selfish Queen image combines with <<<this last one is the kicker.


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:47 | 1500471 oobrien
oobrien's picture

I wish it would crash.  But it won't.

When a debt deal gets passed, it'll spike once again.

The rich will get richer whlile the rest of us will continue to be their waterboys.

Such is life.  Sucks, doesn't it?

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 03:53 | 1500476 oogs66
oogs66's picture

the bailout rallies seem to be lasting less time and pushing the market less high...everyone has become addicted to them...the real surprise would be a downward move

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:50 | 1500549 Advoc8tr
Advoc8tr's picture

'Such Is Life' is for right before the trap door opens.   you know ... live free or die trying.  Giving up without a fight is the anti-thesis to my man Ned's last words.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:12 | 1500483 The Grifter
The Grifter's picture

I dunno - I had a lot of confidence back in 2007 going to happen without any "similarities" in chart patterns.   And was right.  Didn't need them then, and wouldn't look for them now.

IMO what's on the horizon will be unlike anything seen before.   Buying SPY puts now seems too "easy".   Prepare to get whipsawed if you do, then make your move.    

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:33 | 1500490 Djirk
Djirk's picture

The other big similarity is "growth" was fueled by debt....could be a super bubble with massive inflation coming or a really painful squeeze.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 04:48 | 1500497 steveo
steveo's picture

Hey go visit Piker Trader.   When everyone in the blogosphere is
jumping on some bandwagon, Piker is out there doing some independent
thinking.  He even has a proprietary Piker Indicator that is showing
time to enter longs, with a 42% annual rate of return, check out the
And some interesting Boatload O Indicators, indicating
uncertainty, but I think this drop has legs, mostly because the put call
 remains low.   HBB wants to draw in some bear money before committing
the capital to ramp this up.   Unless Dabama ponies up, so to speak.

Here are the other Indicator Charts

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:16 | 1500505 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Seems like 2007 was a bit 'smoother' if that makes sense. 2011 just has wild spikes all over. I would think this shows a higher level of instability (which makes sense). I expect QE3 to kick in about the same time as last year to prevent the typical fall slaughter (psychological?).

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:25 | 1500508 Ozzie
Ozzie's picture

Reminiscinces is a fantastic read.

It gave me the inspiration to sit tight and make 10 times more from the last bear market than I otherwise would have.

Paraphrased from Le Fevre's book- "The big money is made from sitting not thinking. The man who be right and sit tight is most uncommon."

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:40 | 1500520 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Buddha be your model of wise man. He never moved for six long years. It made him rich in wisdom, poor in material wealth. But you can try his technique on WS.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 05:49 | 1500524 GFORCE
GFORCE's picture

In other words I have the same capital at risk but have an additional month of theta.

Nice mate, but I'm afraid your analysis is lost on here- they only buy gold and ammo.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:01 | 1500528 chump666
chump666's picture

EZ bailtout is history DAX about hitting major lows

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:24 | 1500537 Ozzie
Ozzie's picture

I can recommend Reminiscences of a Stock Operator to any new  or old trader

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 06:31 | 1500542 eurusdog
eurusdog's picture

It wont play out the same. The charts will diverge just long enough for the majority of the sheep to begin to believe that it is "different this time"!

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 16:02 | 1502039 falun bong
falun bong's picture

The book I like is called "But Where Are the Customers' Yachts?"...about Wall St in the 1920's

Remember, tho, this time is different


I am falun bong

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 22:01 | 1503018 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

No disrespect to Tyler ... but as paid subscriber to DecisionPoint ... think I saw this piece or quite similar variant a few days ago.     Think it is somewhere in one of the more recent TAC's (TopAdvisors Corner).


It bears an unmistakbly spooky resemblance ......

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 23:42 | 1503238 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Take it up with "Tony Pallotta of". That's who posted it. The "Guest Post:" in the title is a bit of a giveaway. ;)

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 22:00 | 1503019 ReactionToClose...
ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

No disrespect to Tyler ... but as paid subscriber to DecisionPoint ... think I saw this peice or quite similar variant a few days ago.     Think it is somewhere in one of the more recent TAC's (TopAdvisors Corner).


It bears an unmistakbly spooky resemblance ......

Fri, 07/29/2011 - 02:06 | 1503562 mkkby
mkkby's picture

QE has been over for a month now.  Where is the crash everyone predicted?

For all the crazy things happening this year, there isn't much volatility and the market is in a trading range.  It should be down, but it's not.  This is bullish.

If a debt ceiling deal is signed, you shorts and gold longs better be out.

Once the trading range breaks out one way or another, it will be time to step in.  I'd like to be short but it's too early.

Tue, 08/23/2011 - 23:54 | 1593681 karmete
karmete's picture

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