My one-hundred-and-fiftieth YouTube video “Trend of the Week: You Can’t Trade Random Volatility” went up today. I like volatility–much of the time. It’s a source of potential profits. However, when the volatility seems random as it does right now, it’s difficult to trade well, as each choice feels like a roll of the dice. Why was Plug Power (PLUG) up 11% in a day, while Pioneer Natural Resources was down 8% that same day–only to have their situations reverse the next day? It seems that much of this is driven by trader sentiment (It’s been down so isn’t it due to move up?) as opposed to actual market news.
I’m seeing a lot of traders buying Alcoa (AA) Call Options ahead of the company’s July 21 earnings report. The action seems to be most concentrated on the $70 October 21 Call at $75. The stock closed at $64.10 today, June 6, up 3.53%. I think the Call Buying is a result of the very big spread in estimates for second quarter earnings with the high estimate at $4.01 and the lost at $3.19. The consensus for the quart is at $3.66. That would be a huge gain from the $1.49 reported in the second quarter of 2021.
I’m not putting on any leverage bets on market direction at the moment. The trend is just too “trundles.”
This week’s Trend of the Week asks Why, despite all the turmoil in the markets, has the CBOE Volatility Index–also known as the VIX, or the “Fear Index,” remained so low? I think this should signal to us that the market has not currently worried in the near term about long-term problems it knows are coming down the road, like rate hikes and a recession at the end of 2022 or in 2023.. In the VIX’s short-term view, there’s no need to worry. Time to put a call on the VIX?
Here is what I expect: A strong spring and summer rally–powered by FOMO and by gains in Post-Pandemic economic recovery stocks. But that rally will be subject to big plunges because so many investors are poised to sprint for an exit. And all of this, later in 2022 will be followed by an actual Recession market. My worry is that the FOMO rally will make it harder for investors to make the moves they need t make now to prepare for that Recession market. The time to prepare is now nd not when everybody has bid up the price of Recession market favorites. Tricky, no?
Friday, March 18, is a triple-witching day in the options market where roughly $3.5 trillion of single-stock and index-level options are set to expire, according to Goldman Sachs. At the same time the market wills the rebalancing of benchmark indexes, including the Standard & Poor’s 500.
Extreme day to day volatility is hiding the stock market’s trends–and 4 ways to put this volatility to use
Consternation isn’t an investment strategy. Although I certainly understand that reaction to current stock market moves. The day to day volatility is that extreme. But if we focus on that volatility and on how confusing this market is, I think we’re in danger of overlooking the investable trends (up and down) in this market. So let me try, please remember that this is a work in progress and subject to revision, to tease out some of the longer trends that will drive stock prices in the medium term.
$2.2 trillion of options are set to expire on Friday. That includes $545 billion on individual stocks, Goldman Sachs estimates. And about $985 billion of S&P 500-linked contracts and $165 billion in options tied to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), the world’s largest exchange-traded fund, Bloomberg reports.
During the last year equity indexes have shown a reliable pattern of lurching lower near the expiration Friday
Yesterday I owned the wrong stocks. Ford Motor (F) fell another 0.51%. Lithium producer Albemarle (ALB) dropped 1.39%. Deere (DE) gave up 1.38%. Today I owned the right stocks. Ford was up 3.55%. Albemarle gained 6.02%. Deere picked up 1.59%.
Prelude to my Special Report on a new core portfolio for a new market: 5 investing strategy conclusions if financial market history isn’t a reliable guide right now
I want to get these thoughts up on the investing consequences of a period where market history is an unreliable guide to future market behavior before I post my newest Special Report: “A New Core Portfolio for a New Market–10 picks.” The 5 strategy conclusions I’m putting out today certainly feed into my thinking about the nature of the new market. I’ll be working on that that Special Report over the weekend and will post it on Monday, February 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
At the close today, the VIX–the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index–had gained 2.24% to 17.33. During the day it had dropped as much a 1.53% to 16.69. That’s a level that I find interesting, again, as a play on potential volatility in January.
I’m starting up my videos on JubakAM.com again–this time using YouTube as a platform. My eightieth YouTube video “Trend of the Week: Ten-Year Treasury Notes are Tracking Volatility” went up today.