A Quest for Clarity

Once again, no one cares about the economic calendar. There have been big changes with more to come. While many claim to know what those changes will be, I see only speculation.

We must embark on a quest for clarity.

This implies the willingness to seek new information and go where it leads us.

Last Week Recap

In my last installment of WTWA, I predicted an explosion of pundit predictions. In a world without meaningful data, all opinions are equal. This was an accurate guess. I will not spend much time on the noise. Suffice to say that uncertainty reinforced fear. All stocks and sectors moved in a highly correlated fashion. The week began with a negative reaction to the second emergency Fed move, reducing rates to near-zero. Instead of calming markets, this created additional panic among those who thought the Fed knew something they did not and was now “out of bullets.” Ironically, these were many of the same folks who have been demanding lower rates and who believe the Fed knows nothing. Go figure.

It was another week where a look at the news would provide little information about stock prices. The COVID-19 spread continued as informed observers expected, but stocks treated the continuing story as fresh news each day.

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, an excellent combination of key variables.

The market lost 15.0% on the week. Once stocks had gapped lower Monday morning, the range for the rest of the week was 11.6%. Every day of the week included moves of 1000 points or more in the DJIA. You can monitor volatility, implied volatility, and historical comparisons in my weekly Indicator Snapshot in the Quant Corner below.

Here is the updated news on the total drawdown so far.

See the full post for even more great charts and analysis.