US market indices closed slightly lower Thursday. Investors are in a standstill-mode, waiting for the outcomes of the symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole. They will listen very closely to the speech of Fed boss Janet Yellen today. And every word she utters, even the tone of voice she uses, will be subjected to an extensive exegesis. If she raises her left eyebrow while talking about the Fed’s swollen balance sheet, some will suggest that this indicates that the Fed is ready to unwind it. In the case the president of the Federal reserve pauses an instance too long when she arrives at the passage in which she discusses a possible rate hike, others will insinuate that the Fed will not raise interests rates this year. Even if Janet Yellen decided to just recite all items on her grocery list, some analysts will be able to predict future movements of the stock markets from her ‘story’. Exercise: try to come up with your interpretation while listening to Janet Yellen’s speech. A live stream is likely to be found here.
The major US indices hardly moved yesterday. The S&P 500 closed 0.21% lower. The NASDAQ gave in 0.11% and the Dow 0.13%. Volatility-related instruments showed a mixed picture: the VIX was virtually unchanged. But UVXY ETFs and XIV ETNs moved substantially: the former gained more than 5%, whereas the latter shed more than 3%.
Danny Daredevil was the winner for the second day in a row. His RSS rose to 93%. Adventurous Anny is holding cash. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry suffered another loss. Their RSS dropped below 20%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.
RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return
René’s Reflections @ Friday: A short attention sp… eh… a short attention… a short…
Up until a decade or so ago, people who visited the cinema went there to see a movie. During the movie, they did just one thing (apart from eating their snacks and drinking their drinks): they watched the movie. They watched it in its entirety, from the beginning to the end. But things have changed – drastically. The days of monotasking are long gone. Next time you go to the movies, pay attention to how many people simply can’t resist to check their cell phones at regular intervals. What is happening to our attention span? It seems to be getting shorter at an alarming rate. In the year 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Today, this is only 8 seconds. The average goldfish, mind you, has an attention span of 9 seconds. Holding someone’s undivided attention is becoming ever more fleeting, almost a thing of the past. The younger you are, the more likely it is that you won’t get to the end of this text. If this tendency continues, no more books will be written ten years from now, because there will be no writers left to write them, let alone readers to read them. And the movies we will see in the cinemas, will be those that don’t require you to focus. Because by then, our average attention span will probably be under 5 seconds or so. They will deliver instant gratification every 5 seconds. Story writers will be jobless. After all, why build a narrative structure when nobody notices the difference? Are you still with me? You must be old.
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