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Blog Archives

A Relentless Decay

August 29, 2011


Good morning. It was a nice bounce back rally for the market last week, with the SPY up 5.33 (4.8%) to close at 117.97. Volatility still reigned, however, with the market appearing unstable all week, seemingly always in anticipation of the next piece of news to affect the market. One of the big anticipated news items was the speech on Friday by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke from the financial conference at Jackson Hole. It was in that very speech last year that he outlined some of the potential policy initiatives still on the table at that time, and shortly thereafter he announced the so-called Quantitative Easing II (QE II).

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Political Economics

August 15, 2011


Good morning. I think the term wild week for last week would be a solid understatement, although in the aggregate the movement on the week was fairly muted considering the intra-weekly swings. Two days of rally mode on Thursday and Friday had the SPY closing down only 1.6% on the week at 118.12, after trading as low as110.27 on Tuesday. For the last two weeks, however, Friday’s close was off a very somber 11+ points, or 14.8%. That is a rough ten trading days by anyone’s measure.

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What is Happening?

August 8, 2011


Good morning. It is hard to even describe what happened in the market/world last week and the ramifications it may have on the economy and individual wealth going forward. The market had a horrible week, with the SPY down 7.2% to close at 120.08. The volatility index (VIX) closed up 27% on the week to close at 32, a level not seen since June 2010. Maybe even more amazing, since the focus of the week was the impending downgrade of the US credit rating, the 30-year bond was up over 3% on the week to close at almost 132, representing a 30-year yield of 3.8%. 

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Moral Compass of Mayberry

July 18, 2011


Good morning. The market finished down last week despite a late short-covering rally on Friday afternoon. The SPY finished the week down 2.71 to finish at 131.69 (2%) after trading as low as 130.77 on Friday. The VIX soared 23% to close at 19.53 and the GLD (gold ETF) finished the week up 3.3% at 155.19. The market activity can be summarized as a series of fairly violent moves within the range of 130.50-135.50, with a lot of the significant trading taking place outside of normal market hours.

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Governmental Largess

January 3, 2011


Good morning, and Happy 2011 to all. Last week the market basically flat lined, with the SPY up .15 on the week, call it even. The VIX was actually up 7.8% on the week to close at 17.75, reflecting the idea that the post holiday weeks will probably be somewhat more volatile than the very slow markets we have seen in the last week. For the year the SPY was up 12.8%, 10.2% of which occurred in the last quarter. The relatively rapid market rise corresponds almost exactly with the Federal Reserves actions to increase the money supply growth beginning last August.

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