With Labor Day behind us we are now officially heading into the most turbulent period of the year. With 2020 being an election year that would apply politically as well as when it comes to participating in the financial markets. At least in the latter department – not a moment too soon. The big summer lull is by far my least favorite season and I’m looking forward to a bit more action and volatility – both realized and implied.
As equities remain on cruise control and there’s really not much new to report on the daily front I decided to take a peek at some of my longer term momentum charts. The ones that stood out all relate to market breadth, which refers to the ratio between advancing stocks vs. declining stocks. But why would we care about that?
In my Wednesday post I introduced the Z-Score and also explained how we use it for scoring implied volatility, making it the IVZ-Score. What I didn’t focus on much is why one would do such a thing in the first place, and the underlying purpose may not be immediately apparent to some. Now I already can sense your eyes glazing over plus it’s Friday, so I’ll promise to make this brief and actionable for non-nonsense traders mainly interesting in turning a buck.
The implied volatility Z-score is a way of framing implied volatility in context. For example, today SPY closed up 0.35%, which is decent but nothing compared with some of the candles over the past few months. But how normal or abnormal is it? We don’t know unless we’re able to put it in context.