Are Investors Too Complacent?

The economic calendar is very light and interrupted by the mid-week holiday. We can always see volatility when volume is low, but many market participants will be on an extended holiday. This includes much of the A-team punditry, but someone will be left to fill the airtime. Some will continue the outlook theme I covered last week, but I expect many to be asking:

Are investors too complacent?

It is an interesting question, especially considering recent events that suggest danger to many observers. As usual, I’ll include a range of ideas and offer some comments on each.

Last Week Recap

In my last installment of WTWA, I took note of the big economic calendar but predicted that most would prefer to discuss 2020 market forecasts. That was an accurate guess. The week was filled with such reports. The chart below shows one that I find particularly interesting. It does not represent the forecast of a single person. As John Butters (FactSet) explains, he looks at the median target price estimates from analysts covering the stocks, the same people generating earnings estimates. The prices are then aggregated to generate a forecast for the entire S&P 500 index. This contrasts with the “top-down” analysts who work from expectations for the economy, interest rates, and the most likely P/E multiple.

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 the version from Jill Mislinski who combines a lot of important data into a single, readable chart.

The market gained 1.6% for the week. The trading range was only 1.3%. This can happen because I measure the weekly change based upon the prior week’s close. The trading range reflects prices during the actual trading hours, reflecting gains from last Friday even on the low points for the week. You can monitor volatility, implied volatility, and historical comparisons in my weekly Indicator Snapshot in the Quant Corner below.


Which countries lead the world in scientific publications. Statista reports the numbers. Are you surprised by anything?