The Usual Suspects

There’s a well-known scene at the end of the classic film Casablanca where Captain Renault (Claude Reins), having seen Rick (Humphrey Bogart) shoot a Nazi in order to enable Ilsa and Lazlo to escape, tells his men to “round up the usual suspects.” It saves Rick, Ilsa and Lazlo’s collective bacon (though I suspect it sucks for the usual suspects.)

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So it is with the algos driving equities lately. With oil/gas prices on their back heels and VIX being bid up every day by nervous carbon-based investors, it falls to the the usual suspects in the currency markets to provide algos with the proper “motivation.”

Think of USDJPY’s breakout not so much as a bug, but a feature of the modern market — one of the many quiddities which allows futures to ramp higher on, say, disappointing economic news.

While it is sometimes difficult to know when stocks will get much-needed support, these tools have been fairly predictable and have provided excellent trading opportunities.

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