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Riddle Me This

October 10, 2011


Good morning. It was a solid week to the upside last week, with the SPY gaining 2.3% to close at 115.71. The “relief” rally also caused the VIX to drop sharply to a level of 36.20, a weekly drop of 15.7%. A lot of this was due to a growing idea that the European debt situation was about to be more adequately addressed by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the governments of Germany and France.

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Political Economics

August 15, 2011


Good morning. I think the term wild week for last week would be a solid understatement, although in the aggregate the movement on the week was fairly muted considering the intra-weekly swings. Two days of rally mode on Thursday and Friday had the SPY closing down only 1.6% on the week at 118.12, after trading as low as110.27 on Tuesday. For the last two weeks, however, Friday’s close was off a very somber 11+ points, or 14.8%. That is a rough ten trading days by anyone’s measure.

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What is Happening?

August 8, 2011


Good morning. It is hard to even describe what happened in the market/world last week and the ramifications it may have on the economy and individual wealth going forward. The market had a horrible week, with the SPY down 7.2% to close at 120.08. The volatility index (VIX) closed up 27% on the week to close at 32, a level not seen since June 2010. Maybe even more amazing, since the focus of the week was the impending downgrade of the US credit rating, the 30-year bond was up over 3% on the week to close at almost 132, representing a 30-year yield of 3.8%. 

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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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A Fine Line

March 14, 2011


Good morning. Despite a rally last Friday (after news of the disaster in Japan) the S&P closed down 1.63 (1.2%) to end a fairly volatile week. The VIX was up 5.3% to close at 20.07. Putting the VIX move into real numbers, we had been doing some long premium spreads in the SPY for those in the PIP program when the price of the weekly at the money straddle (SPY@ 132, the combined price of the 132 call and 132 put) was roughly 1.50 with 4-5 trading days to go.

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