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.
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 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).
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.
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.