Posts tagged put/call ratio
I Spy, Volatility!

As sell-side strategists parse the entrails of positioning data, and update their greed & fear models, to guess whether markets are due a rebound, investors should not forget the big picture. The conditions for further weakness remain in place. On the macro-level, the sharp slowdown global liquidity has been warning for a while that global—more specifically U.S.—equities had been rallying on borrowed time. Closer to the ground, the sell-off suggests that the multiple-crushing rise in bond yields and oil prices finally got the better of risk assets. The perma-bears will tell you that this is the drawdown to end all drawdowns, dragging global equities down to the netherworld of 2008 and 2009 price-levels. They have absolutely no justification for making such a call, but it won’t stop them peddling this narrative. Prudence suggests that we keep a close eye on liquidity in the credit market and, more specifically, signs of illiquidity in corporate bond funds and ETFs. The short-run is anybody’s guess, but if the recent past is a guide, it’ll go something like this: The market will rebound, eventually, retracing about half of the initial plunge. It will then roll over again, making a new low—the classic double-bottom—which can be bought aggressively.

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Much ado about nothing

I am short on time this weekend, which is probably a good thing given that I have really struggled to share the excitement over last week's events. We had the swoon of the S&P 500 and its first 1% daily decline in more than <insert number here> days on Tuesday. Overall the index had temerity to post a 1.4% decline on the week, the biggest fall since the first week of November. It was with a tinge of embarrassment that I watched the overreaction of my fellow equity investors on both sides. For the bulls, this was the buy-the-dip of a lifetime and for the bears it was the signal that the bull market had come to an end. In truth of course, it was evidence of neither, although I suspect that the bulls will be the ones sleeping with most unease.

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Equities Finally Get the Memo

After a week's break, and a detour, I am back in the saddle for a busy run-in to Christmas. The main market mover of note, while trawling the museums and bars of Paris, was that global equities finally showed a bit of weakness. The MSCI World slid 1.8% last week, down 4.8% from its peak in August, which means that the index is flat as a pancake year-to-date. A belated reaction to the recent mini tantrum in bond markets, or a knee-jerk reaction to tighter polls across the pond, are probably the lazy strategist's reason for the sell off. But it has been coming regardless. 

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