Street Week Ahead: Short week, jobs data may bring back
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[June 28, 2014]
By Angela Moon and Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall
Street may kick off the second half of the year with an
uptick in volatility, thanks to the June jobs report and
plenty of other market-moving data in a short trading
Financial markets will be closed on Friday for Independence Day. So
Thursday will bring a blitz of numbers: the nonfarm payroll figures
for June, the May trade deficit and the June index on the services
sector from the Institute for Supply Management. On Wednesday, U.S.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak on
financial stability at an International Monetary Fund conference in
The elevated volatility would shake some traders out of a stupor.
They have been limited in their betting by this market, which has
been resilient but boring: The S&P 500 <.SPX> has not had a weekly
swing of more than 2 percent since mid-April.
"It has been a very frustrating few months in the market for both
long-term and short-term traders. It is very tough to outperform in
this environment," said Sam Ginzburg, head of trading at First New
York Securities in New York.
The S&P 500 has scored 22 record closing highs for the first half of
2014, feeding concerns about a technical pullback. Yet the CBOE
Volatility Index <.VIX>, Wall Street's fear gauge, has hovered near
multi-year lows, reflecting a market that seemed to grind higher no
matter what was thrown at it.
"Markets will probably trade sideways or lower until the VIX gets to
a higher level, where it can support some kind of (a meaningful)
advance," said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National
Securities in New York, which has about $3 billion in assets under
The VIX is trading around 11, or about half of its long-term average
of about 20. While no one would want to relive the financial crisis
when the VIX jumped to 89.53 on Oct. 24, 2008, a modest amount of
volatility is welcome on Wall Street.
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A higher VIX creates valuation imbalances that drive stock picks and
boost trading volume, which has collapsed from more than 8 billion
shares a day in 2007 to an average of about 5 billion now.
For long-term investors, though, Wall Street is wrapping up a good
first half of the year. The S&P 500 has climbed 6.1 percent this
year, following a jump of 30 percent in 2013.
A recent Reuters poll showed market participants expect the
benchmark index to hit 2,000 for the first time before the year
ends, which is a gain of about 8.2 percent from 2013.
If the market closed the year at current levels, it would mark the
best three-year run for U.S. stocks since the 1997-1999 period.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)
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