My CoT website launched in early 2016. As time has passed, it’s become clear I’ve needed to do three things:
- Revise my framework
- Add coverage for more contracts
- Create a dashboard page that makes sense of everything
The second version of the website accomplishes all of the above.
Revising My Framework
First off, I needed to modify my percentile methodology. Previously, I created 5-year percentiles based on the net position numbers. This was a good first step because it gave context to the net position. If producers & users in WTI crude were net short 25,000 contracts, creating a percentile that incorporated the max and min net position values over five years gave context to the net position number. This 1) revealed if a trader category had a historically extreme position on and 2) made it easy to compare positioning across multiple assets since everything could be distilled to a percentile.
Most of the time, this approach works just fine. But it’s faulty in markets that have substantially grown (VIX futures, WTI crude) or gotten smaller (Nasdaq futures, palladium). Think of it this way. Right now, speculators are currently net short 108,368 VIX futures contracts when open interest is 596,912. This open interest figure has been as low as 243,063 over the past five years. Speculators being net short 108,368 contracts is a huge position relative to the size of the VIX futures market five years ago. Now, it’s not so big.
Positioning can easily be misinterpreted as more extreme than it actually is when data isn’t adjusted for changes in open interest. Every single chart on the new CoT site creates 5-year percentiles of net positioning as a percentage of open interest.
Adding More Contracts
I’ve received many emails from users wanting to see positioning info for contracts the original site didn’t contain. I’m happy to announce the new CoT site covers 1 new bond contract, 17 new commodity contracts, and 4 new currency contracts. In total, the site now covers 46 markets.
Creating a Dashboard
With so much data, it’s tough to keep track of the markets where positioning is extreme. That’s why I created a page that displays the current 5-year percentiles for all contracts. Each graph is segmented by contract type and trader type. The graph below shows how speculators are positioned in commodity futures.
All four graphs can be found on the dashboard page.
These changes give users a purer view of positioning, in all the contracts they care about, and through actionable dashboard graphs that summarize everything in one place. I hope you find the new CoT site helpful!