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Riddle Me This

October 10, 2011


Good morning. It was a solid week to the upside last week, with the SPY gaining 2.3% to close at 115.71. The “relief” rally also caused the VIX to drop sharply to a level of 36.20, a weekly drop of 15.7%. A lot of this was due to a growing idea that the European debt situation was about to be more adequately addressed by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the governments of Germany and France.

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Rationally Bearish on Bonds

May 9, 2011


Good morning. It was a very interesting week last week for investors, especially those who either trade commodities or have used security ETFs to gain exposure (chase returns) into the commodity area. The SPY was down 2.23 (1.6%) to close at 134.20, not a very significant amount given the recent rally, but the VIX, possibly seeing what can happen when sellers arrive and longs are forced out, was up a whopping 25% to close at 18.39.

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Escalation Clause

November 8, 2010


Good morning. Huge gains for the market last week, with the SPY’s up 3.6% to close at 122.72. This was primarily due to the announcement by the Fed on Wednesday that they were going to peg the so-called quantitative easing (QE II) at around $70B per month to a total of $600B. I think this number is in excess of the “street” number of $500B and I suspect the $70B per month is a little more aggressive than most thought before the announcement.

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A Victim of Circumstance

October 18, 2010


Good morning. It was a very interesting week for the market last week, with stocks and bonds heading in different directions. The SPY was up one percent on the week to finish at 117.7, the highest close since May 3 of this year, and within striking distance of the years’ top print of 122.12 on April 26.

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Skewed Volatility

October 11, 2010


Good morning. The Federal Reserve gave us another strong market last week, with the SPY up 1.93 (1.7%) to close at 116.54. That is the highest close in the SPY since last May 12. The VIX was down sharply on the week, closing at 20.7 (down 8%), which is the lowest closing since May 3 of this year. Again the investing public appears comfortable with the price of insurance on the market decreasing as the market advances, something that, to me, has always seemed counter-intuitive.

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