Mid-Day Update: Europe Hogging The Spotlight
The global selloff started last night in Asia, partially in response to the selloff here in the U.S. but some slowing economic data didn't help the situation. When Europe opened early this morning, its markets were also down sharply.
The concerns about Europe are not going away, and I get the sense that the authorities over there aren't willing to do something "big" without the cover of a major disaster. Whether its a Greek default or a major financial institution in trouble, the potential outcomes are equally unpleasant to this investor.
The market seemed as if it was hanging around to see if the Fed might pull a surprise rabbit out of the hat. When the news came out yesterday about Operation Twist, the selling picked up steam. But the buying into long-date Treasuries picked up with a vengeance. This morning, the yield on the 10-year Note has fallen to a record low of 1.77%.
Commodities are also down sharply today. Oil prices have fallen back to $81.25, while gold prices are now down near $1733. The gold etf (GLD) is sitting just below its 50-day average.
The VIX has spiked higher again this morning, up 8.5% right now to 40.50. Interestingly, if you look at the VIX chart, today's action so far looks like a 4th lower high.
Trading comment: During the recent market rally I had been writing that I didn't want to get sucked in, and that I was trimming equity exposure and adding to our index hedges. That makes me feel at least a little better on days like today, when my screen shows a sea of red. I still think we could see some buying surface as we near quarter-end, but I would continue to employ the same strategy. Any buys I may look at on the long side will have a short leash attached.
Disclosure: Jordan Kahn and/or KAM clients are long GLD, SH though positions can change at any time