Well, here we are again with one more extremely volatile day in the markets. SPX opened at $1907, traded down $35 and then reversed course and traded up by $41 to close at $1913, up $10 on the day. RUT traded similarly, closing at $1010, up one dollar. Volatility contracted a bit with the VIX closing down three tenths of a point at 21.7%. Trading volume popped up with 3.6 billion shares of the S&P 500 stocks trading today. Trading volume rose 16% on the NYSE and increased 13% on NASDAQ.
ADP reported an increase of 205 thousand private payroll jobs. This is an encouraging sign for Friday's jobs report. The ISM services index declined in January to 53.5 from last month's 55.8. But numbers over 50 denote expansion. Services are doing better than manufacturing, which is contracting.
January 20th was a significant day in the markets when the major indexes traded down to new lows, but then recovered significantly into the close. Those lows continue to hold today. RUT's intraday low today at $989 is very close to its intraday low on 1/20. SPX behaved similarly, hitting $1872 as the low today before recovering significantly. But SPX's intraday low on 1/20 was quite a bit lower at $1812. Was this the retest of the correction lows? Remember the trading following the August flash crash. We thrashed about for almost a month before resuming a bullish trend. However, the economic data may not justify a strong bullish trend this year. Perhaps the recovery from the correction is just for a sideways market, at least until the election.
The linkage of the stock market to oil prices appears to be weakening. Oil prices were up all day today, while the stock market traded down most of the day, recovering in late afternoon trading.
In the meantime, lay on the couch and get your feelings out. Tomorrow is another day on the roller coaster.