Be on Alert for a Pop Higher in Volatility

by Urban Carmel
Financial Sense

Summary: The trend in equities continues to be higher, even a very short term basis. As equity prices move higher, volatility is compressing. That, on its own, is not bearish, as volatility can stay low for months as equities grind higher. But it’s noteworthy that volatility has popped higher in each of the past seven Augusts. Combined with an unusually tight trading range in SPX and an extreme in the volatility term structure, short term traders should be on alert for a pop higher in volatility. That may well correspond with SPX approaching its next “round number” milestone at 2200.

This week, the major US equity indices – SPX, NDX, and COMPQ – all traded at new bull market highs. Moreover, RUT has traded at a new 12-month high. None of these, nor the DJIA, has closed below its 50-dma since late June. All are trading above their rising 5, 10, 20 and 50-dmas. The trend for US equities remains higher, even on a very short term basis.

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