25 July 2017: And what about Greece?

Some time ago, Greece was able to bring down stock markets. The possibility of a default for the country of sirtaki, ouzo, and the invention of democracy gave investors the shivers. How is Greece doing? Well, the country is still subject to stern measures imposed by the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF. But there might be a light at the end of the tunnel: Greece is back at the capital markets. It will try to borrow money ‘the normal way’ in a magnitude of about 3 billion euros. Although that is only a relatively small number, its symbolic meaning should not be underestimated. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, however. Will investors be interested in these Greek bonds? We will find out by 1 August, the settlement date for the new notes offering.

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The NASDAQ closed at another record Monday: it rose 0.36%. The S&P 500 and the Dow had to take a step back and lost 0.11% and 0.31% respectively. A busy week for investors is ahead, filled with earnings, a Federal Reserve policy meeting, and economic data. This week will be a big test to see if the optimism of the previous period is justified.
Volatility saw a – by now – familiar picture. It is still extremely low. The VIX saw a small rise (+0.75%), yet UVXY ETFs did not gain. They lost more than 3%. XIV ETNs profited and closed almost 2% higher.
Danny Daredevil was once again yesterday’s victim. His RSS dropped to 184%. Adventurous Anny is still holding cash. Her RSS remained at 33%. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry prolonged their progress and are ready to attack the barrier of 50% with regard to their return since the start. Yesterday, they closed at 44%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.

Model Holds Start date

RSS

YTD

QTD

AAR

Danny Daredevil UVXY 1 January 2016

183.59%

-29.65%

-34.85%

95%

Adventurous Anny Cash 6 March 2017

32.57%

32.57%

-4.39%

107%

Solid Suzy XIV 6 March 2017

43.88%

43.88%

14.95%

156%

Lazy Larry
XIV 6 March 2017

43.88%

43.88%

14.95%

156%

RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return

 

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On invitation by Tim, René watched Christopher Nolan’s new movie Dunkirk last night in an IMAX theater in Tilburg. René is a big fan of Nolan, whose debut feature movie Following (1998) is high on his personal top ten list of favorite movies of all-time. Nolan’s latest movie is set during World War II and concerns the Dunkirk evacuation. Watching this movie in an IMAX theater gave René an almost life-like experience. The film had a big impact on him. It felt just as if he was there himself, on that French beach back in 1940.
But the impact of the film on René paled into insignificance compared to what he saw this morning. Ken Sturdy, a 98-year old Dunkirk veteran, spoke through tears after watching the premiere of the movie last Friday in Calgary, Canada. More than any film René had ever seen, it was these words that moved him to his core:

“It’s like taking me back in history. When you get to 98 you think you’ve seen everything. It was so well done. It’s like in every detail it told the story just the way it was. Yes, I’m so pleased I saw it.
All my mates have gone now, if you keep living all your friends have gone, but I liked every minute of that. I was just taken back all those years you know. Such a lot of memories I have.
I was 20 years of age then I was in the navy until the end of the war. We lost… so many of my friends are gone now and I keep going with all my memories. They’re all there. And that film brought it all back again. It all came back to me. Yes. There’s something about warfare and it was shown visually there, but it’s as though we as a human species we never learn. Young people will see that and I hope they will take some thoughts with them about the inevitability of war. But the fact… it never ceases. I’ve met with young fellas who served in Afghanistan and I don’t know what to tell them. I had the privilege of seeing that film tonight, but I am saddened by it, because of what happened on that beach. One of mates taken prisoner and they marched… the few of them not killed on the beach marched off to Poland and spent five years in a German prison camp in East Germany / Poland and we used to talk about it. He’d say “Ken why do we do this?”
Tonight I cried because it’s never the end. It won’t happen. We are… as a human species we are so intelligent, we do such astonishing things. We can fly to the moon, but we still do stupid things.”