Given all the political drama drowning out any common sense at the current time I wouldn’t blame you for having missed the news. Turns out 140,000 jobs were lost in December alone and I fear things may only get worse from here. Unfortunately if 2020 reconfirmed anything then would be to never underestimate the market’s ability to fade structural economic problems of tectonic proportions. However as the old saying goes: you can run but you can’t hide (forever) as we are now starting to see the first emerging cracks.
Strike it up to my Austrian upbringing but I absolutely love the month of December. Putting aside COVID epidemics and the current social upheaval across the West for a moment, it still ranks high on my favorites months of the year list, right after April and – of course – lovely May. And not just for the usual reasons like the Advent Season, the anticipation of Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, batches of Glühwein (mulled wine), snuggly movie nights with the Mrs. in front of a crackling fire. It’s also my favorite month when it comes to my biggest passion, which of course is trading the markets.
It’s Friday morning before the open and the SPX is pinned right at the edge of the weekly expected move (EM). The ES futures pushed a little bit higher overnight but are now treating water awaiting further instructions. Which makes it a textbook example of the very phenomenon that has driven equity markets to the edges of the weekly EM since the introduction of weekly options by the CBOE in 2016. But what exactly is causing this phenomenon, or market behavior in the first place?
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.