Saturday, August 12, 2017

War Drumming Markets

"'War is a continuation of politics by other means.' Von Clausewitz."
--Captain Frank Ramsey (Crimson Tide)

Markets took a hit on Thurs on back of North Korea situation--although not as much as one might have expected. Muted downside market response marks the time we live in--although that could change quickly, of course. Currently the SPX is not quite down to support defined by the multi-month uptrend line.

Volatility indexes did seem to take an outsized jump compared to the move in stocks. VIX was up nearly 60% in two days.

I happened to look at put schedules mid-week before the jump in vols. Despite historically low index vol levels, out of the money index puts did not look cheap to me--certainly nowhere near 'Simon' levels. This suggests significant option 'skew,' and is consistent with market participants scooping quantities of downside 'insurance.'

Sitting on my hands for now, and will see how things unfold.

no positions

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