Monday, March 28, 2016

Provable Nixed Markets: VIX or Natural Gas, Take Your Pick

Noting that markets are in a near-trance module of late (thank you, Janet Yellen and central bankers everywhere), it has occurred to financial followers that possibly one could track the big movers of the day in an effort to ferret out any semblance of a pattern in the current conundrum.

With that, taken from the list below are the (un)usual suspects, the venerable VIX, which moved up by 3.39% on the session, and natty natural gas, ahead by 2.71%.

Actually, these moves tells nobody nothing (or, perhaps, everybody everything they need to know), since the VIX, a supposed measure of volatility, moved in such a manner as to suggest, well, volatility, when none existed.

As for natural gas, the price alone dictates large moves in percentage terms. With the price generally below two dollars for the past two years, a twenty-cent move is automatically good for 10%. Thus, today's gain of 2.71% was the result of a price move of roughly five cents. So, just because it is expected to be a little cooler than normal in Nashua, NH, next week, it does not automatically imply that the price of natural gas will be necessarily higher, nor does it mean that the price will stay there for any reasonable expectation of time.

Thus, the discovery du jour isn't so much based on any magic or even logical formula, but simple understanding of markets and central bank control through various proxies: markets are in a semi-permanent state of broken, and there's little any concerted effort by any group of individuals, investors, or fund managers can do about it. A volatility index moves when there is no volatility present, and a five-cent move in the price of natural gas won't set the commodity world afire.

In just a few words, these are not real markets, and you only need to have your eyes open to realize that.

Today's Laughable, Lamentable Louse:
S&P 500: 2,037.05, +1.11 (0.05%)
Dow: 17,535.39, +19.66 (0.11%)
NASDAQ: 4,766.79, -6.72 (0.14%)

Crude Oil 39.39 -0.18% Gold 1,220.10 -0.12% EUR/USD 1.1196 +0.28% 10-Yr Bond 1.87 -1.58% Corn 371.25 +0.34% Copper 2.24 +0.63% Silver 15.20 +0.01% Natural Gas 1.93 +2.71% Russell 2000 1,080.23 +0.06% VIX 15.24 +3.39% BATS 1000 20,682.61 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4255 +0.92% USD/JPY 113.3830 +0.08%

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