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Getting Spun

October 31, 2011


Good morning. It was a huge week for the market last week, with the SPY up 4.63 (3.7%) to close at 128.60. That strong up move was accompanied, as it often is, but an even larger downturn in the option premium levels as defined by the VIX. Those levels, the so-called fear index, were down a whopping 22% on the week to close at 24.53, the lowest close since August 4 of this year. Quite obviously the combination of headline news items associated with the sharp rally were the announced framework of a resolution to the Greek debt issue and some slight increase in the tone of domestic economic reports.

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Stimulus Scenarios

May 31, 2011


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Good morning. The market rallied back last week to finish virtually flat, the SPY finishing down .10 to finish at 133.51. That leaves it down 2.1% from the April close of 136.43 with one day to go in May. The market seems to be stalled here (although it is rallying so far this morning) for any number of potential reasons. Other than the employment number for March, which showed a surprising gain in employment, most of the economic numbers have pointed to growth slowing.

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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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Bin Laden and the Trickle Down Theory

May 2, 2011


Good morning. It was another solid steady move to the upside last week, with the SPY rising 2.65 (2%) to close at 136.43. This move, again, comes under the general umbrella of lower dollar and higher commodity prices in line with the expansionary monetary policy being maintained by the Federal Reserve. Today we have the added bullish sentiment accompanying the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, during which he and several companions were killed by U.S. Special Forces.

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Laughter, Disbelief, Anger

March 21, 2011


Good morning. Volatile and down week for the market last week, despite a solid bounce off the Wednesday lows. The SPY was down 3.08 on the week to close at 127.76 (2.3%), which was still a solid 2.48 (2%) off the low made on Wednesday afternoon. The news regarding the Japanese earthquake damage and subsequent tsunami, soon overwhelmed by events at the nearby nuclear reactor facility, dominated the trading for the week. A big upward reaction to the market was directly associated with a coordinated G7 (first coordinated intervention in over ten years) move to stop appreciation of the Japanese yen in the aftermath of the disaster.

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