The Greece Crisis is at the forefront of the markets yet again. Greece closed its banks and stock market on Monday in an attempt to avoid on run on their financial institutions. The heightened state of Greece sent our markets into a tailspin on Monday, however the U.S. stock market did find it’s footing yesterday managing to eek out a small gain. For the month of June, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed down 391.18 points at 17,691.51, the Nasdaq (chart) finished the month lower by 83.16 points at 4987.00, the S&P 500 (chart) -44.29 points at 2063.11 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) was one of the only major averages that finished the month of June positive closing up 7.42 points on the month at 1253.95.
So what’s in store for the month of July you may ask? One word, Volatility! Since the realization that Greece is going to miss its $1.7 billion dollar debt payment it owes to the International Monetary Fund and that Greece may no longer be a part of the European Union, volatility slammed the global markets. The $VIX (chart) which trades on the Chicago Board Options Exchange is the Volatility Index. The $VIX indicates the market’s expectation of future volatility, 30 days to be exact, spiked as high as 41% since Monday. We have not seen this type of vol for months and I don’t expect it to let up anytime soon.
Although Greece continues to grab the headlines, there are other concerns that contagion can spread to other debt ridden EU countries such as Spain and Portugal. Even Puerto Rico has it’s own debt issues that are of increasing concern. I do expect that there will be a resolution of some sort to this latest crisis, but I also do believe volatility will stick around for a bit.
Another catalyst that could create additional volatility is the upcoming Q2 earnings reporting season. U.S. companies will begin to report their results after the 4th of July holiday and in earnest the week thereafter. So you can see why I believe volatility could be increasing over the next several weeks. As a trader, this is what you have been waiting on and if you are a long term investor, you have been through this before.
Both Paula and I wish everyone a very safe and Happy 4th of July Holiday 🙂