Friday is always a good time to do some housekeeping, so here are some updates to recent themes in the blog:
In terms of fear, yesterday showed a fair amount of it, as the 25.3% increase in the VIX is about twice the median for a 2.6% drop in the SPX. While today’s markets seem to have settled down a little after an exciting opening, the elevated fear persists. For those who may be interested, you can always eyeball today’s VIX and SPX percentage changes on my fear-complacency graph to make your own assessment.
Now that the Fed may be done cutting rates for the moment (see Mike Shedlock, “Is it Two and Done?”), the good-news-is-good-news-and-bad-news-is-good-news cycle may be coming to an end as well. This means we are likely entering a Rorschach cycle, where interpretations of government data start to be largely driven by your view of the investing landscape, in addition to any psychotic disorders that may be lurking just below the surface.
In the four generals, four horsemen, etc. category, the large cap tech leaders continue to do well, while Southern Copper (PCU) has struggled a bit. The big story in the group, however, is MasterCard (MA), which saw its stock surge 20% after a blowout earnings report. Much of MasterCard’s success can be attributed to increased acceptance of plastic across the globe, rather than in the
Some quick takes for the VIXophile crowd:
- Ian Woodward notes a fifth Hindenburg Omen signal
- Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed has some of interesting thoughts about volatility: how VIX spikes can help market timing; and what it means for position sizing
- Mike at HEDGEfolios.com has some compelling thoughts about the Fed and commercial banks in a post-Glass-Steagall world
- Doug Kass predicts that the worst is yet to come in terms of write downs at financial institutions; meanwhile, per Greg Newton at Naked Shorts, Merrill Lynch has tried to park some of its liabilities off the balance sheet for a year
- Bespoke has a great visual comparison of the
bubble to previous NASDAQ and homebuilder bubbles China
- Finally, PC Magazine has a very positive review of the new $400 ASUS Eee PC 4G laptop