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Morphing Into Moral Issues

November 14, 2011


Good morning. A nice Veteran’s Day rally on Friday had the SPY closing up on the week after a serious down move on Wednesday following a spike in Italian debt rates to well over the supposed 7% danger level. The SPY closed up 1.18 (.9%) at 126.66, with the ranges being a low of 122.86 on Wednesday after a high of 128.02 on Tuesday. The VIX was up slightly (.11) to close at 30.15, but had a spike to 36.43 during Wednesday’s sharp sell-off. In general the market remained driven by news from Europe, but it does seem that, in the absence of bad news out of Europe, the direction appears positive.

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Are People Voting With Their Feet?

October 3, 2011


Good morning. Quite a week in the market last week, only to have the SPY down less than a point to close at 113.15 (.3%). If you had any positions, it certainly felt a lot different than a flat week, with the range of 112.98 (Mon.) to 119.56 (Tues.), and a huge rally Thursday in the last hour only to be followed by a large sell-off into the close on Friday. The VIX continues to be at very high levels, closing up 1.71 at 42.96 (4.1%). These levels of the VIX, compounded by a fairly pronounced skew going out, surely makes it tempting to try and maintain short premium positions in the weekly SPY options, but those positions (due to amazing intra and inter-day movement) are not for the faint of heart.

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Geithner and Zombie Banks

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)?

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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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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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