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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money & Finance

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Capitulation Not Over in Crude Oil

Crude oil prices had a seemingly exhaustive washout selloff following the Nov. 27 OPEC meeting. Oil bulls had been hoping for a production cutback at that meeting, but Saudi Arabia successfully led an effort to oppose such cuts.

More Good News for Employment

The data on the U.S. unemployment rate have been getting progressively better over recent months, either because of or in spite of the government’s efforts, depending on one’s viewpoint. And if this week’s chart is to be believed, then the data should continue to get better over the next several months.

Deflation Is Getting Too Popular

I cannot believe the volume of the news stories I am seeing in the financial media, with people worrying about impending deflation. And as any card-carrying contrarian knows, when a topic gets too popular, you are near a turning point.

Alarming Sign in NDX Stocks’ Drawdown

The Nasdaq 100 Index is making new multi-year highs, levels not seen since the weeks just after the 2000 Internet Bubble top. But it is interesting for us to see that the average component stock in that index is down 7% from its trailing 52-week high.

VIX Below 12!

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has dropped below 12. Below 12!!! Surely this must be one of the signs of the apocalypse.

Equity Options vs. Index Options

Most traders who look at options market data for market insights like to focus on the “Put/Call Volume Ratio”, which examines the differences between the number of trades in bullish versus bearish bets. I use that data in my work, and even get into differences between the Put/Call Ratio for equity options versus index options.

Bund Spread’s Message for the Stock Market

The folks who watch international bond yields have been giving a lot of attention lately to the fact that the spread between the 10-year U.S Treasury Note and the equivalent government bond from Germany is now up to its widest point since 2005.