Juggling With Knives: Profits, protection and planning for volatility in stocks, bonds, real estate, and real life.
This website is based on my book, Juggling with Knives. Both the book and website are about volatility in everything from stocks and bonds to real estate, and real life topics such as jobs and education.
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Another day, another vacancy on the Federal Reserve for President Donald Trump to fill. That adds previous three vacancies on the seven-member board of governors. The seat for the vice chair in charge of financial supervision is empty, although Trump has nominated Randal Quarles for the slot. The slot for governor for community banking is vacant and the administration hasn’t sent a name to Congress for confirmation. A third governor’s position is also open.And then, of course, there’s the big vacancy that will occur when the term of current Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen ends on February 3. (Although Yellen’s term as a Fed governor doesn’t expire until 2024.) The four open seats–plus the end of Yellen’s term as chair–give Trump an extraordinary opportunity to shape the Fed–and policy at the world’s most powerful central bank.read more
By this time you’re certainly aware that volatility in the U.S. stock market is near record lows. (It’a actually below record lows when you recalibrate the VIX for revisions to that index.) But the lack of volatility in the bond market may have escaped your attention. It’s even more pronounced than the lows in the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX.)read more
Today it’s JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon telling a conference in Paris that the unwinding of central bank bond-buying programs is an unprecedented challenge that may be more disruptive than people think. Tomorrow (and Thursday) it’s Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen giving Congress some clue (maybe) on when the Fed will begin to reduce its $4.5 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt instruments.read more
Yesterday’s rally in technology stocks and the NASDAQ Composite has disappeared this morning. At 12:30 New York time the NASDAQ was off 1.6%; the Technology Sector Select SPDR (XLK) was down 1.72%; and individual technology stocks were also in the red. Amazon (AMZN), for example, was lower by 1.58%; Nvidia (NVDA) was down 3.57%; Apple (AAPL) had retreated 1.58%; and Facebook had lost 1.16%.read more
Adding another Argentina play, Global X Argentina ETF, ahead of MSCI decision tomorrow to my Volatility Portfolio
Today, just ahead of the MSCI decision, I’m adding more Argentina exposure to my volatility portfolio with the pick of Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT.) The ETF has $174 million in total assets, giving you decent liquidity. The expense ratio is 0.59%. The ETF is highly volatile, I’d note.read more
I'm not calling it a trend yet. Every time over the past six months that it has looked like volatility on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index has been ready to move up in a significant way, the move has been a head fake. And volatility as measured by the CBOE...read more
Market moves to risk off just before start of biotech conference season, opening for short term biotech trades? Adding Nektar to my Volatility Portfolio
Today, March 6, was a day for risk off. The indexes ended up negative for the day but not by a huge amount. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, for example, was down just 0.33% on the day. Riskier indexes took a bigger hit. The NASDAQ Composite was off 0.37% and the small cap Russell 2000 was lower by 0.69%. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB) was down 0.88%. But if you were looking for bigger drops today, the place to cast your eyes was on individual biotech stocks, especially those that had been rallying recently. For example, Incyte (INCY) was off by 1.85%. The Medicines Company (MDCO) fell 2.28%. Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) got a double dose of downward pressure from the market in general and from bad news on a drug trial and tumbled 8.26%.This dip in biotech stocks comes at, what can I call it, a very interesting time. Especially if it continues for a day or two or three.read more
The most widely followed volatility measure, the CBOE S&P 50 Volatility Index (VIX), is going nowhere. The VIX, commonly known as the fear index, closed at 11.37 today, February 6 and it is stuck below both its 50-day moving average of 12.09 and its 200-day moving average at 14.01. Which doesn’t mean there’s no volatility or no fear in the markets. It’s just not reflected in the market for puts and calls on the S&P 500. Other measures, however, are flagging uncertainty in the financial markets.read more
Way back on January 5 I posted that 2017 looked like a very promising year for technology LEAPS, especially for Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), two technology stocks where near term volatility has created promising opportunities. And I promised to follow up on what happened with these Apple and Facebook LEAPS as we got close to and then moved beyond the next earnings report. So what’s happened?read more
The IShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) is actually up 1.87% in the last five days and up 0.08% in the last month. Which is pretty stunning given that Brazil and Mexico, two of the biggest and more consequential of developing economies, have descended into something near chaos. And the path of those two economies suggests worrying possibilities for other emerging markets such as Turkey and the Philippinesread more