Sunday, September 30, 2007

VWSI at +4; Next Bump Soon?

So what’s with the round numbers? Surely the conspiracy theorists know that prior to last week the VIX had closed at a round number only 9 times in 18 years. Now that we have back to back closes at 19.00 and 18.00 the stars must be aligning for something. But what?

The VWSI, which is registering a reasonably elevated +4 on the heels of last week’s +6, thinks that a significant VIX spike is just around the corner. Back to back positive readings of this magnitude in the VWSI are extremely rare and with volatility below just about every moving average, this appears to be a good time to consider lightening up on equities and getting long volatility.

With the VIX dropping exactly one point (5.3%) this week to 18.00, we are now down to the lowest end of week reading in ten weeks. Like I said last week, with all the headline risk, the VIX looks like fairly cheap portfolio insurance.

(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 +4 I heartily recommend a riesling. As a matter of fact, riesling is a wine that goes with just about any VWSI. It is versatile food wine that comes in a wide variety of styles, from bone dry to the sweetest of dessert wines . Frankly, this wine deserves to be more popular than chardonnay, but, at least in the United States, riesling’s stature has been weakened by too many associations with middling off-dry versions of the varietal.

German-speaking readers can find a wealth of information about riesling at; those who rely on English will have to be content with the likes of Riesling Report.

In terms of top producers, all of my comments about Alsatian gewurztraminer producers apply to riesling as well. For an exemplary California riesling I can highly recommend Trefethen Riesling from Napa, a wine that Eric Asimov of The Pour (New York Times) first brought to my attention earlier this year. This wine is a steal for $16 at my local wine store.


Anonymous said...

Is the VWSI a proprietary measurement of yours?

Bill Luby said...

Yes, the VWSI is proprietary. I provided some background about the indicator here.



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