I admit to having greatly underestimated this bullish run. I keep studying the basic economic data, looking for the strong growth the market seems to imply. But I have made the mistake of discounting the role of the Fed and near zero interest rates. The market loves the Fed. The major indices opened weakly this morning, but it didn't take long for the bulls to reassert themselves. SPX ran up $13 to close at $2041 while RUT gained $17 to close at $1091. Volatility continues to contract with the VIX dropping to 14.4%. Trading volume rose again today with 2.6 billion shares of the S&P 500 companies trading. Trading volume on the NYSE rose 17% and trading on NASDAQ rose 11%.
Initial unemployment claims came in at 265 thousand this week, up slightly from last week's 258 thousand. Continuing unemployment claims rose from 2.227 million to 2.235 million. The JOLTS job openings report cited 5.541 million job openings for January, up from 5.281 million. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey increased to 12.4 for March, up dramatically from February's -2.8.
I closed the March SPX condor today in the Flying With The Condor™ service for a gain of 7.5%. That brings our year to date performance to -2.3%. As of today's close, SPX is finally positive for the year, up 0.1%. We are still working off our February loss.
SPX has now cleared the 200 dma and is above the bearish trend lines drawn from the November and December highs. The next resistance level is the high of $2078 from December 29th. I still find it hard to rationalize new highs in the market above $2078 (12/29/15) and $2103 (12/1/15). But I have been wrong so far...