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Blog Archives

A Relentless Decay

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).

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What Ever Happened to Mayberry?

November 22, 2010


Good morning. There was conflicting news in the market last week that had the market moving fairly violently on an intraday basis, only to close almost exactly unchanged. The SPY closed up a whole .09, at 120.29, after trading as low as 117.59 on Tuesday. The VIX closed down a solid 12% at 18.04, reflecting confidence that nothing bad will happen in the upcoming Thanksgiving week, or maybe for the rest of the year. Normally that would be the case, quiet trading before and after the holiday, but the recent few years have been anything but normal.

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Escalation Clause

November 8, 2010


Good morning. Huge gains for the market last week, with the SPY’s up 3.6% to close at 122.72. This was primarily due to the announcement by the Fed on Wednesday that they were going to peg the so-called quantitative easing (QE II) at around $70B per month to a total of $600B. I think this number is in excess of the “street” number of $500B and I suspect the $70B per month is a little more aggressive than most thought before the announcement.

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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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