Interview: Speaking of Seasonals with Steve Moore of Moore Research Center by Thom Hartle
The concept of seasonality is certainly not new. "To every thing there is a season," Ecclesiastes and, more recently, the 1960s rock group The Birds said. And of course, for commodity traders the commodity markets have always offered seasonal trading opportunities. This month, Stocks & Commodities interviews Steve Moore, a trader and market research analyst who focuses on seasonal and statistical studies of the futures markets. Topics covered include seasonal trades, correlation in markets, options trading and money management.
Q: How did you first get involved in the futures markets?
A: I was introduced to the futures markets in 1973 while I was working in Georgia Pacificís plywood purchasing department. We made a lot of our purchases by taking physical delivery of plywood futures contracts that were heavily discounted to the cash prices at which our mill suppliers were willing to sell. Then in 1975, I went to work for a Merrill Lynch company that traded both cash and futures in the wood products industry. We worked with computer models that used regression analysis to project cash prices, and eventually we applied them to futures trading. In 1977, I moved back to Eugene, OR, which is where Iím from, to set up a computerized futures research department at the wood products firm where my father worked. A few years later, Stotler & Co. hired me to set up a computer research department for them and manage a futures brokerage operation on my ranch.
Q: When was that?
A: In 1985. That was really my dream then. Everything was going great ó as far as I was concerned, at least ó until Stotler filed for bankruptcy in 1990. At that point, I decided to become totally independent.
Q: Did you continue to produce research and keep on trading?
A: Yes. In 1990 I founded Moore Research Center, and we had two big breaks when our work was discussed in articles in both Investors Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal. Our customer base grew from there. Now we even provide research to several exchanges, including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT). Most recently, in 1993, I joined with Linda Bradford Raschke to form LBR Moore Trading. We computerized a number of her trading models and techniques and now we provide a daily fax service with her comments.