For the most part today was a sleeper. Most everything sold off after tremendous runs to all –time highs in SPX and NDX yesterday. You know things are nuts when TWTR, yes I bought more juice in there last week, is the market leader for a day. Much of the action in VIX this year, when there was any, has been around politics. DJT seems to keep the volatility around himself and somehow it does not translate to equities except on Russia news snippets. The month of December has been ruled by Congress and I predict that is how the month will end.
9.29 VIX and it feels like we are putting the holiday in to the SPX IV already. 9 VIX does put me into a bit of a buying mode so I started going through my list of names that should be at lower IVs over the next 90 days. And low and behold I did not find what I thought I would find.
My best trade idea was early in the week with the SPY/QQQ pair. After talking with Mark we think the big end of year tech rebalance is over so that idea could have some legs as that sector recovers. Congress could still provide some fireworks as Dec 15 looms but nothing is really sinking the market for stocks. Maybe all the volatility is going to Bitcoin (BTC) so that could be a dampener. After all BTC is worth more than WMT so we got that going.
Stocks are stuck to the vicissitudes of Congress until the recess on Dec 15th. I don’t see how much can propel us higher or to touch the ATH’s we reached earlier on Monday. The nagging bid for Treasuries is a bit disconcerting as well. Today we had the ultimate “What the Hell!” signal out of SPX, meaning VIX down, SPX down.
Fake news, real news, no news, blue news… it appears that we have had a lot of flip flopping and flat out surprises on news stories lately from the failure of the tax bill to the miraculous resurrection of the same. SPX found a way to trade to ATH briefly today but the NDX has not been so fortunate of late. Granted the rally in 2017 has been spectacular for NDX.
VIX managed a .17 up move near the close today as the SPX turned in a .01 percent move. After a near 4 day holiday I would have expected the VIX to be up a bit more today but it was not the case. The weekend is usually good for bump in VIX but today is not the case. Why?
The big reason is that the liquidity providers took down IV in SPX early in the cycle last week and that pretty much killed it. 11.37 to the mid-9’s in 2 days so there was a bit of haste early in the week. This is setting up for some interesting trade in VIX futures into the end of December.
When I first walked onto a trading floor in 1989 the big thing was airline takeovers. They were the hot stocks of the day and even DJT got in the action with making a bid for American Airlines. Since then I have seen biotech, nanotech, tech, internet, 3d, emerging markets, etc, etc…. as the latest hot thing. You know when something is hot when a company goes public on the just the idea that they are going into an industry. A mini-bubble can happen within a bull market and can come and go with barely a ripple. Now we have Bitcoin (BTC).