Posts Tagged ‘ VIX ’

Holding Pattern

March 31, 2017
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Holding Pattern

The relentless grind higher in equity markets continues irrespective of periods of policy awkwardness, twitter rants, and republican in-fighting. Recent announcements that corporate tax reform isn’t likely until August/September didn’t faze the market at all. Clearly, the benefit of the doubt is being given to the Trump administration to make the American economy greater, and, the Fed is complicit, hinting at a lower for longer interest rate policy, still, into 2017. Not surprisingly, asset price re-ratings persist, and now the bond market, gold, energy, commodities, EM currencies, have all bounced too. Risk pricing remains high, and implicit volatility is exceptionally low. The playbook, between now and the fall, appears limited at first blush, with markets neither likely to rally at an accelerated pace, nor likely to sell off meaningfully,...

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Turkey Day Highs

November 29, 2016
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Turkey Day Highs

The bull market is set to turn 9 in 2017. Vanquished by the bull: Eurozone crisis, deflation, China bubbles, taper tantrums, BREXIT, and now Trump. The bullishness of the tape continues to shock, with the Trump rally, after the fact, looking strikingly similar to the BREXIT rally; the market provides every indication that one outcome is good, the other outcome bad, it gets the bad outcome, and not only fails to sell off, but rallies on it! Enough to generate plenty of Aflac goose head shakes. Why did the market change its mind on Trump? Firstly, a Trump victory was never really “bad” it was just unfathomable, and Trump’s campaign rhetoric was at times, preposterously market unfriendly (forcing production in the US, undoing global trade). Upon further consideration, the...

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Big in Japan; Can the Fed trump the BOJ?

September 21, 2016
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Big in Japan; Can the Fed trump the BOJ?

VIX back to the 15 range ahead of a consequential Fed meeting, deep into the economic cycle. Volatility crush continues into actual central bank announcements. Zombie US markets can’t go down but can’t rally either. After recent, underwhelming ECB announcements, markets sense more to come from the Fed, yet a gasping sense reigns omnipresent. What, actually, can the Fed do? After a litany of hawkish babble, commentary, from Fed governors this month, indicating the potential for two rate hikes. Can the expectation fall all the way to zero hikes in 2016? Just on an employment report that missed by 20,000 jobs? It seems that getting expectations down to no hikes in 2016 is the only way to deliver a “dovish surprise”. In this context, market action will be difficult to predict at 2:00...

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Policy Driven Markets are Treacherous

December 10, 2015
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Policy Driven Markets are Treacherous

Volatility in the stock market is rising, intraday swings more violent, and high-to-low ranges increasing. The lurching action of the market is not driven by fundamentals, it’s difficult to profit from, and disconcerting. There isn’t a single item to pinpoint with respect to market angst, rather, a combination of factors, leading to manic sentiment changes. The sweeping issue of late-2015 is the extent to which global financial markets remain policy driven. During the financial crisis and subsequent few years, the degree of governmental and regulatory involvement in the economy and markets was prudent. Letting a crisis flare served no one. However, it’s worrisome that markets are still sooooo policy dependent 7-years into a recovery. One shudders to think what will happen if the economy really slows. China markets sit...

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5 Investment Patterns That Don’t Make Sense

October 14, 2015
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5 Investment Patterns That Don’t Make Sense

2015 is shaping up to be a challenging year for investments. The market swoon in mid-August caught most off-guard, and the subsequent violent recovery arrived right after several prominent investors turned bearish, or at least hedged. Markets don’t need to make any sense, and at times, understanding “why” the market is getting crushed, or exploding, is a futile exercise; it may lead to a grounded feeling, but ultimately, is not too helpful in predicting the next move. Nonetheless, since mid-August, several relationships/patterns emerged that are particularly nonsensical. A short list: 1) A-share returns matter for global stock markets The stock market in China, the world’s second largest economy, is a big mess of a structure. Top Chinese companies are listed in three separate exchanges/geographies, each open to a different...

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Bernanke’s Jackson Hole Speech: Market Could Close at 1,100 or 1,200 Today

August 26, 2011
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Bernanke’s Jackson Hole Speech: Market Could Close at 1,100 or 1,200 Today

The market remains destabilized which is quantified by the VIX index stubbornly remaining in the 40 vicinity. As long as the VIX remains in the 30-40 range investor should expect to see 2-3% moves both up and down in the market from these levels. I believe that the propensity for violent up moves is as probable as sharp selloffs because we are close to levels in the market where a recession is being priced in with a 50% probability. Today, with commentary coming from Ben Bernanke out of Jackson Hole, and a wide array of expectations on what he will indicate from a monetary policy standpoint I see decent odds that the S&P 500 closes at either 1,100 or 1,200 today. That is how destabilized and volatile markets have...

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