The Tumbling Market

July 27, 2007

Well Jim, you should start a hedge fund, and I should be your lead trader. The DJIA is down about 600 points since you first posted on Priced To Perfection, and the downturn has gone global: EAFE's off about 7% over the same timeframe as well.

My contribution - highlighting the VIX - has been a nice move too. The VIX continued its surge from 15 to 19 (when I highlighted it) to 22 today, and is pointing higher still.  Apparently, I wasn't alone in turning to the VIX: VIX options volume has surged recently, and indeed, options volume in general hit new all-time highs this week on at least one exchange (the CBOE).

Here's one interesting fact about the current market downfall: Unlike February's hiccup, gold and commodities have held up fairly well over the past few days. Despite histrionic warnings from some quarters, gold traded off less than 5% during the downturn, while most broad-based commodity futures funds are flat.  In February, those two markets got crushed as the fast-money deleveraged out of what were considered "risky, high-profile" assets. That was unusual, as gold and commodities are traditionally safe havens during market downturns.  There have rumors that fast money moved out of commodities and into stocks during the recent market upturn, and those appear to be true.

Turning a different page, it's a bit ironic that this market downturn came shortly before that juicy, 3.4% headline GDP number that the government released today. Of course, they also revised downward estimates for economic growth from 2004-2006, chopping 0.3% off of the annual estimates. As with hedge funds, government economic indexes should be taken with a grain of salt...


Find your next ETF

Reset All