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Egypt

January 31, 2011


Good morning. A significant sell-off last Friday left the SPY down slightly on what had been a positive week, with the SPY closing down .65 for the week at 127.72 (.5%). The VIX closed up 8.7% but still was not that elevated at 20.07. Most of the Friday sell-off was attributed to the spreading political issues in the Middle East (as well as F, AMZN, and MSFT earnings), as uncertainties surrounding the future of Egypt and the Suez Canal took center stage. As of now, to the extent that anyone can predict the outcome of unrest due to 30 odd years of heavy-handed rule, the situation does not look dire or likely to spread rapidly or violently to the surrounding countries.

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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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Politics As Usual

November 1, 2010


Good morning. A very quiet finish to the market last week as the nation prepares to go to the polls this coming Tuesday. Someday someone will explain to me (officially) why elections are not held on a Sunday like in Europe, but I guess the unofficial reason that those in power really do not want big turnouts will suffice. This election, at least in Illinois, has been particularly nasty, with a lot of outside money entering the state (a lot due to the absurd Supreme Court ruling last year) that is virtually untraceable as to its real source.

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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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