A tipping point?

Over the past few weeks, the Euro Zone and in particular Greece has re-ignited fears in the marketplace and now JPMorgan’s (NYSE: JPM) $2 billion dollar trading loss disclosed on Thursday, just might be enough for the bears to take charge of the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) finished the week down 1.67%, the Nasdaq (chart) -0.76%, the S&P 500 (chart) -1.15% and the Russell 2000 (chart) -0.23%.

One confirmation I look for as it pertains to market sentiment is volatility and whether or not it’s on the rise. The most widely followed index that tracks market vol is the (VIX) (chart), also know as the fear gauge . Even though the value of the VIX (chart) is below 20 which historically represents a calm market environment, the VIX has spiked 25% since May 1st. I will be paying closer attention to this index over the coming weeks.

The week ahead promises to be yet another action packed week. A number of economic reports will hit the tape on Tuesday including the closely watched retail sales report and Empire state manufacturing survey. Also this week, earnings will be announced from Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Deere (NYSE: DE) and WalMart (NYSE: WMT)  just to name a few. Closing out the week is one of the most widely anticipated IPO’s in recent memory and that is the listing of Facebook on Friday. Facebook will be trading under the symbol (FB) and is reported to launch with a market cap of almost $100 billion dollars. Good luck to all.

Have a great week 🙂