One can surmise that the markets have most certainly voted! Once again stocks sold off this week in light of the fiscal cliff fears and whether or not Washington will be able to get a deal done. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) fell 1.77%, the Nasdaq (chart) -1.78%, the S&P 500 (chart) -1.45% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed lower by 2.36%. There was a bit of reprieve from the selling pressure yesterday after both sides of the aisle came out of their first formal fiscal cliff meeting and indicated progress was being made. This was enough to help the aforementioned indexes to close in the green on Friday.
The market climate that we are now in reminds me of last summer when Congress was battling it out over the debt ceiling crisis and how the key indices were down close to 10% in a short period of time. Back then market volatility was historic while the politicians were duking out that crisis. Although stocks are certainly in correction mode, what I am not seeing this time is enormous volatility. Let’s take a look at the VIX index (chart). The VIX, also known as the fear gauge, is used as an indicator of investor sentiment. Right now the value of the VIX (chart) is not indicative of extreme panic in the marketplace especially when you compare it to last summer. Hopefully Washington can come up with a solution to resolve the fast approaching cliff which would restore confidence and calm the markets. Good luck to all.
Have a great weekend 🙂