I was struck by the phrase “volatility itself has been volatile” in the FT article this morning. It pretty much sums up both the confusion and concerns in the market about whether risky assets are at an inflection point or taking a breather before embarking on another leg up.
Data just out shows the pace of joblessness picked up in September, snapping what had been a steady improvement from “really terrible” to “at least it’s not as terrible as the prior month.” The drop in non-farm payrolls was even worse than Goldman Sach’s downwardly revised -250K forecast, coming in at -263K. But also take a look at July: revised to -304 from -276k. August was revised to -201K from -216K.
Deutsche Bank has published some interesting research putting the recent equity market rally over the past six months in historical context, showing that the only comparable six-month gains occured during the 1930s.
During the last six months the S&P 500 has risen 51 percent, while BBB corporate bond spreads have rallied 228 basis points, both one in 200 events, according to Deutsche
It’s shouldn’t be surprising that investors are feeling giddy. The world financial system didn’t collapse, big banks are making hand over fist and stock markets, well, stock markets have been on fire (today excluded). But a V-shape economic recovery in the U.S? Really?
Treasurys are up after a stellar auction of $19 billion reopened 10-year notes, stocks are floundering as investors worry about the economy and earnings season. More and more it feels like the pessimists have decisively turned the tide.
Over at The Big Picture, Jack McHugh makes some interesting comparisons between the calm seen in the markets now as banks and investors wrap and the quarter and a year ago. His takeaway though is don’t expect a repeat of last year’s second half meltdown.
With the big event for the week – the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee – not due until Wednesday, global markets are left to focus on number of cross currents that are weighing on the stocks and oil and bolstering government bonds and the dollar.
Stocks, for little over a week, have been stuck in neutral.
On June 4, the Dow Jones closed at 8,750. And with a little less then two hours to go in the current trading week, the Dow was trading at 8,759. Come on, we can do it. All we need is to drop another 9 points.