Many investors have been getting crushed by the collapse in the inflation trade.
By quick way of review, throughout 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, inflation-based investments dramatically outperformed the broader market. In particular, Energy stocks (XLE) produced outsized gains, more than doubling the performance of the S&P 500 in 2021.
This all changed in June of this year. From that point onward inflation plays like oil, copper and the like have been collapsing. Oil fell 20% peak to trough. Copper is down 30%. Note the blue rectangles in the chart below.
Is the inflation trade over? Not necessarily. Commodities are an extremely volatile asset class: corrections of 20%, 30%, or even 40% are common during major bull markets in commodities.
Case in point, during the last big commodities run from 2002-mid-2008, oil had numerous corrections of 20%-40% before the final blow off top.
Again, the commodity space is at a critical juncture today. The volatility of the last few weeks is actually quite normal for the space. And the key for determining when the next leg up begins is the $USD.
The $USD has been on a tear as the world is hungry for dollars. Whenever this rally ends and the greenback rolls over again, the commodity space will catch a bid.
As I write this, the greenback’s Relative Strength Index (RSI, located in the bottom box) is overbought. Moreover, the $USD is trading 3% above its 10-week moving average which is also the same as the 50-DMA (see the top box).