Weighing the Week Ahead: Four Risky Hurdles

The economic calendar is massive, and that is just the start. Earnings season is in full swing. US/China trade talks resume. And finally, the FOMC announces its interest rate decisions. Expect plenty of commentary on the individual news items, but the real question is:

How deftly can the market leap the four hurdles? (Data, Earnings, Fed, and Trade = DEFT).

Investor need a framework to interpret the breaking news.

Last Week Recap

In last week’s installment of WTWA, I drew upon some recent articles from others to address the question of “dumb money.” There were some excellent reader reactions, especially on Seeking Alpha. I hate it when blogs start name calling instead of analyzing data. The authors’ time would be better spent taking a deeper look at their own methods. As I suspected, the pundits embraced the bull/bear debate, but in less colorful fashion.

The Story in One Chart

I always start my personal review of the week by looking at a great chart. This week I am featuring Jill Mislinski’s version, which combines a lot of information in one picture. The full article also includes several other interesting takes on price movement.

The market gained 1.6% for the week. The trading range was only 1.7%. This erased last week’s losses in a quiet, low-volatility continuation of the rally. My weekly Quant Corner translates this into a volatility calculation which you can compare both to VIX and to past readings.

Personal Note

I missed my regular summer challenge at the North American Bridge Championships. Instead, Mrs. OldProf sent me on a scouting mission to Arkansas, as we continue our search for a semi-retirement home. When my Arkansas breakfast was served, I asked what the bowl of white stuff was. My server said, “Those are your grits.” I asked how one consumed them. She patiently explained alternative methods and affirmed that a spoon was the right utensil.

No WTWA next week (or perhaps a light version) as our search continues. So far, we have visited Covington, Ky (Cincinnati), Knoxville, Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, and Central Florida. Still on the program are Florida’s West Coast and Phoenix.