Monday Morning Musings
The markets are getting a very nice bounce on the heels of the 5% gain last week, the best weekly performance for the market in eight weeks.
Asian markets were higher overnight, except for China which was lower. Europe markets were also higher this morning after two Greek banks decided to merge.
Also, the damages from Hurricane Irene at first glance appear to be less that initially feared, and that is helping boost financials stocks, especially insurance stocks. The positive boost to financials has helped the S&P 500 touch the 1200 level.
The dollar is flattish currently, and commodities are mixed. Oil prices are higher near $87, but gold prices have moved from positive territory back into the red, currently trading around $1793.
The 10-year yield is getting a bounce back to 2.26%. And the VIX is down -6% right now to 33.3. That's below its 20-day average, but still above the psychological 30 level that I would like to see breached.
Trading comment: There continues to be some skepticism about this rally, as evidenced by the elevated VIX readings. Other sentiment indicators I looked at over the weekend continue to show extreme bearish readings. This could play into the hands of the bulls, as the unwinding of some of these bearish bets could keep the market higher. With NYC still a mess today from the hurricane, I expect volume levels to be light. But overall the action from last week was constructive, and I think this bounce could continue to carry higher in the near-term.