Thursday, June 23

volatility crush

Summer's here for the options markets; volatility is nearly nonexistent as the VIX sinks to 11. This means both calls and puts are being sold by the professionals, who don't expect much activity in the stock market--at least not for the next 30 days.

Are they right? Probably yes, for now. But at some point nearer to the end of Summer, in this post-election year, shopping for puts will be the prudent thing to do. Especially if options prices remain this low. Short term money is getting tighter now, by the Fed's design. They pumped enough into the system prior to the election to keep the incumbents happy, and now it's time to soak it back up. Same old story.

With commodity prices continuing to move up putting the squeeze on margins, the third quarter results could have an excellent chance of coming up short. And surprises are very good for options buyers.

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