As we neared the closing bell today the market was on it’s way to it’s largest weekly decline since last August. The U of M consumer sentiment numbers hit a 3-year high but those numbers were compiled from date collected over a week ago, when oil was $15 per barrel lower. Grain prices jumped again Friday which points to more inflation.
I was in New York earlier in the week for a three-day convention geared towards individual investors. Over 10,000 people came by the CBOE booth, and my feet are still sore! The topics most mentioned revolved around the expansion of Weekly options, the S & P level (and SPX options) and the VIX and VIX options, The archived webinars in the educational center at cboe.com got a number of nice comments. It was very encouraging to see the number of self-directed investors spending hours to educate themselves. My one-hour talk on the VIX was standing room only (I’d like to think they came to hear me but I’m pretty sure the VIX was the reason).
Markets still seem nervous about the Middle-East going into the weekend, but lets watch VIX levels at the close today and first thing Monday. A VIX under 20 could mean calmer markets ahead.