When downside volatility becomes an advantage.

CME_MINI:RTY1!   E-Mini Russell 2000 Index Futures
It’s been a while since we looked at the Russell 2000. For the uninitiated, the Russell 2000 index is a small-cap stock market index that is made up of the smallest 2000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index.

The small-cap nature means a few things, volatility tends to be higher for one. And capturing this downside volatility using the Russell 2000 as compared with the S&P 500 has almost always proven more fruitful.

When to take this trade you may ask? The recession bellwether indicator of the 2Y – 10Y yield spread is a simple place to start. With the benefit of hindsight, shorting each of the indexes at the peak ‘inversion’ points proves to be a decently successful strategy. Especially so using the Russell 2000.

So the next question to ask is if we are near the peak point of inversion?

To answer this, we have to circle back to research from last week, where we discussed the expected rate path for the Federal Reserve (Fed).

In short, markets seem to be pricing in a Fed pause, followed by a pivot in the coming year. Looking back at the charts, this shift in stance (or pause) highlighted in the top chart generally marks the turning points for the 2y-10y yield curve inversion, highlighted in the bottom chart. Therefore, with markets expecting a pause as early as the first quarter, we suspect that the turning point for the yield curve inversion is just around the corner.

On price action, the 1900 level proves to be of significant resistance, with multiple attempts to break through being rejected. As prices creep towards this resistance level once again, we think this might just provide another attractive opportunity for trading.

Zooming out to a daily timeframe, the 0.382 Fibonacci levels marked by the previous high and low, also coincide close to the resistance levels on the shorter timeframe.

The proven downside volatility, along with the coming turning point in the yield curve inversion, keeps us bearish on the Russell 2000. Additionally, the price action points to significant resistance overhead, around the 1900 level. Setting our stop at 2035 level (one Average True Range away & close to the next resistance level) and take the profit level at 1690, with each 1-point increment in the Russell 2000 futures contract equal to 50$.

The charts above were generated using CME’s Real-Time data available on TradingView. Inspirante Trading Solutions is subscribed to both TradingView Premium and CME Real-time Market Data which allows us to identify trading set-ups in real-time and express our market opinions. If you have futures in your trading portfolio, you can check out on CME Group data plans available that suit your trading needs

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