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.
September 19, 2011
Good morning. The market was strong every day last week, closing up 4.8% on the week at 121.52. So far in September, historically the weakest month for the market, we have seen the market down strong 3 days, up big one, down 2, and now up 5, all for a net loss of 70 cents in the SPY. Last week’s strong market caused the VIX to drop 19.7% to 30.98, the lowest close since August 3, 2011. Why the sudden optimism, or at least the semi-disappearance of fear in the market (as defined by the VIX Index)?
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.
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.
June 27, 2011
Good morning. The SPY finished the week down .24 (call it flat) after having some wild moves on Wednesday and Thursday. A rally early in the week culminated in a Wednesday high of 129.81, only to sell off to a Thursday low of 126.19 before bouncing back strongly (after yet another announcement of impending settlement in Greece) to a Thursday close of 128.30. Based on the strength of that bounce you might have thought the rally would continue, but you would have been mistaken, or at least early.