Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Wrap

Holy bass and treble Batman! There was significant volatility in the markets this past week, and the S&P 500 Index ended the week with a 2.1% loss to close at 1555. Very unusual.

Is this an aberration in record stock market returns or is there some type of mischief going on?

Just what is it that caused the VIX to become so volatile this past week? Could it be that corporate profits aren't coming in as what many economists "expected"? Could it be worry that GDP won't be as good as we thought it would be? Could it simply be a problem with HFT machinations.. or could it be something concerning those minstrels at the Federal Reserve Bank?

Well, don't you good investors of Gotham City fret about it any longer.

The current administration won't stand for any stock market reversals old chum, and has sent in the plunge protection team and their drone to correct this chaos. Stay tuned next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, to see if we'll be singing a different tune.


  1. That was too funny! Not only are you a market prophet, but you're a genius at simile.

  2. Bah! We don't need any puny, weak, and inefficient humans in order to dominate the world. We control market movements now. You must now learn to react to us, not the other way around. Fake Tweet Erasing $136 Billion Shows Markets Need Humans

  3. And there we go. The Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder saved the day. The S&P 500 Index finished the week up 1.7% to close out at 1582.

  4. Investors have blamed high-speed traders for exaggerating market movements — including the biggest-ever daily plunge in gold last month — while ethical issues have been raised at a time when the reputation of the financial sector as a whole is under scrutiny as a result of scandals such as banks rigging the LIBOR interest rate benchmark.

    But such questions are not dampening fierce competition among traders and their communications providers to squeeze out more speed. Laser beams and microwave dishes are the latest weapons in an arms race to shave milliseconds off dealing times in the shadowy world of high-speed, computerized financial trading.

    Source - Reuters Hedgeworld: Lasers, Microwave Deployed in High-Speed Trading Arms Race HT: Stock Jockey

  5. The stock markets continue to run bullishly wild, leaving me behind in the dust.

    The S&P 500 index closed out the day at record highs, blowing past the 1600 milestone and ending this week at 1614. It doesn't seem like anything is going to stop it.

    Of course, I still think this bullishness is all irrational exuberance, over-hype, and a one big casino gamble. There's no good reason in my mind why the markets should be at such levels, so I'm just biding my time waiting for the next inevitable crash. If that never happens (I doubt it), I can live with my decision to be fully invested in cash.

    Truthfully, since nothing about the system has been fixed since the Great Recession began, derivatives still remain unregulated, institutions consider too-big-to-fail are now even bigger, and economic and political polarization continues to expand, I'm not sure that I have enough faith in the system to re-enter the markets even after a crash does occur. We'll see.

    In the meantime, here's an interview of one my favorite investors, Charlie Munger, sharing his views on bankers and HFT - Munger on Banker 'Heroin Addicts,' 'Evil' High-Frequency Trading

  6. Ever wonder what hight frequency trading (HFT) looks like? Then take a look at this video - How Half a Second of High Frequency Stock Trading Looks Like HT: Paul Solman

  7. Where's the Batman when you really need him? Luckily, someone in Gotham City is looking out for the average Joe.. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

    According the the NYAG, "Promoting a level playing field in the securities markets and reforming unfair business practices that distort securities markets is important".

    Mr. Schneiderman announced yesterday that financial information giant Thomson Reuters has agreed to immediately discontinue the practice of providing high-frequency traders with certain market-moving consumer survey results prior to the release of that information to its other subscribers.

    Read more stark commentary at: Rolling Stone, Taibblog - Wall Street Rips Off 'The Sting'