Vaccine Trial Results Could Be the ‘October Surprise’

VIX futures indicate an uptick in market volatility in October/November, and not just because of the U.S. presidential election. There’s another event—with arguably even more gravity—set to hit the markets at about that same time: Phase 3 clinical results from a front-running COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Pfizer et al. The thing is, the stock market has … Continued

Trading the Aftermath of a Biden Victory in November

Personal politics aside, the result of the Nov. 3 presidential election will dictate the direction of the country over the next four years. This is critical for investors and traders because the policies and initiatives enacted during this time will greatly impact the business environment—that in turn affects asset prices and the stock market. One … Continued

Here We Go Again—Trading the 2nd 2020 Stock Market Correction

Back in December of 2019, almost nobody predicted that the stock market would crash in 2020. Fewer still were calling for two corrections this year—although that is precisely what has come to pass.  After experiencing a correction of 34% percent during Q1 of 2020, the S&P 500 has now corrected for a second time in … Continued

Trading Mergers and Acquisitions

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity shrunk during the first half of 2020 by roughly 50% as compared to last year, but since July, the pace has picked up considerably. The uptick in activity was punctuated by two recent mega-deals—the acquisition of Arm Limited by Nvidia (NVDA) and the acquisition of Immunomedics (IMMU) by Gilead (GILD)—together … Continued

Managing Directional Risk with Beta and Theta

When things get weird in the financial markets, as they have in 2020, seasoned investors and traders like to tighten up their adherence to disciplined risk management—particularly as it relates to directional exposure.   Reviewing some of the odd occurrences so far this year, the all-time high achieved in the VIX would likely be at the … Continued

Wait, What? A K-Shaped Recovery?

Stirring up the alphabet soup of economic recovery nicknames (V, U, W), the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have produced a new entrant to the field: the so-called “K” recovery. And that moniker appears to fit the current economic landscape extremely well, given that over the last several months some industries have begun to recover—and even … Continued

Inflation, Gold, the Fed and a Clickbait Rubber Duck Pic

Eye-catching distractions are everywhere. But, despite volatility in the financial markets, investors and traders need to ensure they haven’t overlooked a monumental policy change enacted recently by the United States Federal Reserve. The Fed’s recent shift affects what is commonly referred to as the “dual mandate”—the twin responsibilities of the Fed to maintain low inflation … Continued

AstraZeneca Vaccine Snag Casts Shadow Over Market Rally

With millions of lives and livelihoods hanging in the balance, the need for a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine is red-lining. Unfortunately, near-term hopes for a game-saving vaccine took a big hit on Sept. 8 when AstraZeneca (AZN) announced the company was temporarily pausing its Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trials. This development is especially deflating … Continued

Trading the 2020 Cryptocurrency Rally

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been enjoying a strong year. Over the course of 2020, the price of a single bitcoin rallied all the way from $4,000 to above $12,000.  That is, until last week.  In the last several days, bitcoin has given back about $2,000 in value per coin—and even dropped briefly back below … Continued