December 5, 2011
Good morning. It was a huge week for the market last week, with the SPY up 8.52 (7.3%) to close at 124.86. That number represents a gain of 2.3% over the last two weeks, and a decline of 1.4% from the close three weeks ago on 11/11. The VIX last week dropped a full 20% to 27.52, indicating strongly that the market perception of risk, at least in the short term, has dropped significantly. Why the sudden change in market attitude?
September 12, 2011
Good morning. Last week, in a holiday-shortened week, the market experienced heightened volatility on both an inter-day and intra-day basis and closed lower on the week. The SPY was down 1.93 to close at 115.92 (1.6%), and had a low of 114.38 on Tuesday and a high of 120.94 (5.7% spread) on Thursday, before selling off solidly on Friday. The weakness was due to several factors, mainly news from Europe suggesting (due to local election results) that the party of Angela Merkel (strong supporters of European unity and help for struggling countries) was losing support.
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.
July 11, 2011
Good morning. Despite Friday’s surprise poor numbers from the Labor Department the SPY still managed a positive week, closing up .49 at 134.40 (.4%). That small move up maintained the very strong 5.6% move up from the week before, when really the market could have had some serious losses on Friday. The Thursday ADP numbers (private sector jobs) showed a very strong 157,000 advance, causing many to revise estimates of the governmental numbers on Friday to well over 100,000, and had many thinking the surprisingly bad number of May would be revised upward.
February 14, 2011
Good morning. We had another quiet but positive week for the broad market last week, with the SPY quietly advancing 2.04 to finish at 133.11 (1.5%). The VIX, mainly due to the very quiet week, was down to 15.68, a drop of another 1.8%, and a level that we reached last April before the market underwent a roughly 15% correction. For whatever reason market advances have been associated with the significant decrease in market fear, so that virtually all market corrections or sell-offs have been associated with low implied volatilities at the start.