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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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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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Moral Compass of Mayberry

July 18, 2011


Good morning. The market finished down last week despite a late short-covering rally on Friday afternoon. The SPY finished the week down 2.71 to finish at 131.69 (2%) after trading as low as 130.77 on Friday. The VIX soared 23% to close at 19.53 and the GLD (gold ETF) finished the week up 3.3% at 155.19. The market activity can be summarized as a series of fairly violent moves within the range of 130.50-135.50, with a lot of the significant trading taking place outside of normal market hours.

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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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