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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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A Smörgåsbord of Issues

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.

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Who Wants the Truth?

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.

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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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