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Getting Spun

October 31, 2011


Good morning. It was a huge week for the market last week, with the SPY up 4.63 (3.7%) to close at 128.60. That strong up move was accompanied, as it often is, but an even larger downturn in the option premium levels as defined by the VIX. Those levels, the so-called fear index, were down a whopping 22% on the week to close at 24.53, the lowest close since August 4 of this year. Quite obviously the combination of headline news items associated with the sharp rally were the announced framework of a resolution to the Greek debt issue and some slight increase in the tone of domestic economic reports.

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Escalating Fear

August 22, 2011


Good morning. It was yet another week of selling in the market, with the SPY finishing at its lowest level since Sep. 17, 2010 at 112.64, down 4% on the week. That number also represents a yearly decline of 10.4%, and at this point (based on Friday’s closing action) the market is not showing much sign of an impending bottom.

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Who Wants the Truth?

June 27, 2011


Good morning. The SPY finished the week down .24 (call it flat) after having some wild moves on Wednesday and Thursday. A rally early in the week culminated in a Wednesday high of 129.81, only to sell off to a Thursday low of 126.19 before bouncing back strongly (after yet another announcement of impending settlement in Greece) to a Thursday close of 128.30. Based on the strength of that bounce you might have thought the rally would continue, but you would have been mistaken, or at least early.

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Stimulus Scenarios

May 31, 2011


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Good morning. The market rallied back last week to finish virtually flat, the SPY finishing down .10 to finish at 133.51. That leaves it down 2.1% from the April close of 136.43 with one day to go in May. The market seems to be stalled here (although it is rallying so far this morning) for any number of potential reasons. Other than the employment number for March, which showed a surprising gain in employment, most of the economic numbers have pointed to growth slowing.

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Revolution in Wisconsin

February 28, 2011


Good morning. Rising tensions in the Middle East caused the market to have its first down week in a while last week, with the SPY closing (despite a strong rally on Friday) at 132.33, down 2.24 (1.7%). The VIX spiked higher to finish at 19.21, up 3.32 (17%) from a very low close before the three-day weekend of 16.43.

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