Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Investors to Everyone: Just Chill"

This is beginning to feel like a fakeout shakeout. For the first time since posting "Equities: One of Our Sentiment Indicators Has Hit Stall Speed" on Dec. 18 we are seeing a rough balance between buy-side initiated and sell-side initiated trading. For the record, DJIA 13,115 then vs. 13,344.70 now, S&P500 1420.50 vs. 1444. Call it a percent or two.

Also for the record we posted "Repost--Ruh Roh: The Path of Equities During the 2011 Debt Ceiling Debate vs. During the Fiscal Cliff Debate" on the 6th and again on the 21st to some effect but right now with 73 minutes to the close I'm not hearing either Astro or Scooby anymore.

Also on the 21st "That Mayan Calendar Spread Sure Paid Off (VIX; VXX)":
The VIX traded as high as 19.63 today but just couldn't clear 20.00 and in fact couldn't reach the recent high of 19.93.

Just a reminder, in the words of market strategist Jennifer Anniston,

"That's a risky little game"
-Friends, Season 8 episode 3
airdate 27 September 2001,
dedicated to The People of New York City

From Barron's Stocks to Watch Today column:
I’m a week late, but I want to highlight Roben Farzad’s great piece about investor sentiment — specifically why investors aren’t freaking out the way everyone thinks they should:
Leuthold’s monthly Risk Aversion Index, which bakes together various credit and swap spreads, commodity and currency prices, and relative asset returns to offer a broad gauge of skittishness, is at a record low going back to 1980. That span includes the Crash of ’87, the rolling emerging-market contagions of the 1990s, and the multiple human and financial calamities of the past decade.
Another reading, the JPMorgan G7 volatility index, is at lows unseen since peak swell of the private equity bubble, when Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman hoarded $40 crab claws and few suspected that Greece’s and Spain’s books were sautéed. (Speaking of a private equity bubble, don’t look now, but it seems like 2012 is staging a redux.)
As I’ve written before, I think the constant, breathless media coverage of the fiscal cliff talks/deadline is more about the economics of business news than earth- (or economy-) shattering events that are going to be the doom of us all....MORE