Sunday, July 15, 2007

VWSI Lifts to +1

Closing at 15.15 for the week, up 0.43 or 2.9% from the previous week, the VIX does not feel particularly low to my untrained gut at current levels, but I must say that I was surprised to note that this is the second lowest close for the VIX over the course of the past 15 trading days.

This relatively low reading for the past 15 trading days is partly responsible for moving the VWSI off of zero to a +1 reading, meaning that while I am officially neutral on the direction of the VIX for the next week or two, there is a slight statistical bias in favor of a VIX rise.

Next week brings consumer prices, industrial production, capacity utilization, housing data, FOMC minutes, and even some Ben Bernanke testimony in to play. Of course, earnings season also kicks into high gear as well. What are the chances that these events will neatly offset each other and keep volatility in check? Even with the broad market indices making new highs, the VIX may not be as cheap as it looks.

(Note that in the above temperature gauge, the "bullish" and "bearish" labels apply to the VIX, not to the broader markets, which are usually negatively correlated with the VIX.)

Wine pairing: I am not sure how this happened, but I somehow neglected to mention my favorite of all the US gewurztraminers in previous posts about this varietal: the dry gewurztraminer from Londer Vineyards of Anderson Valley. I have not yet sampled the 2006 vintage, but the 2005 was an unforgettable wine that I would love to see in a blind tasting against some of the top Alsatian competition.

In my previous roundup of California gewurztraminer, I suggested Navarro and Harvest Moon. For some of my top selections from Alsace, check out Trimbach; Hugel; and Domaine Weinbach. You can also check out the top-rated gewurztraminers in the 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

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