Tuesday, January 22, 2008

VWSI at +1 as Historic Meltdown Approaches

In light of the oncoming freight train that is today’s session, it seems somewhat academic to recount the action in the VIX last week. For the record, last week the VIX gained 3.50 points (14.8%) to close out the week at 27.18. The VWSI rose one tick to +1.

As is my weekly custom, for a survey of the best in current thinking about the markets, Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture sums up the week that was and takes a stab at what will likely be a historic trading week in his 3 Day Weekend Linkfest: Review/Preview (authored Sunday evening, so it doesn’t include the thinking coming out of yesterday’s carnage.)

I am estimating that the VIX will open between 35 and 36, then move higher from that level as the rush to the exits precludes the need for anyone to yell “Fire!” A VIX north of 40 would not surprise me, nor would a short-term bottom forming sometime later in the week.

(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: For a VWSI of +1, I recommend a guwurztraminer. For the record, my favorite American version of this wine is 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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