Should Investors Start Worrying as the Calm before the Storm Prevail on Wall Street

 

2017 started out for Wall Street investors on a splendid note as stocks posted decent gains in a sharp contrast to the predictions of losses that had trailed Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 elections. Investors were quick in warming up to the idea of a Trump presidency and they loved how his unconventional economic policies could spur growth on Wall Street.  The gains on Wall Street were particularly sustained through the first and second quarters as shown in the chart below.

 Stock Market And The Dow Jones

The NASDAQ Composite gained 13.10%, the Dow Jones gained 7.38%, and the S&P 500 was up 7.33% in the first two quarters of the year. In fact, investors who had exposures to small cap stocks saw decent 3.65% gains. Interestingly, the VIX Index was down 13% within the same period.

Interestingly, Tyrone Manning, an analyst at Wilkins Finance observes that “the gains in the market don’t appear to be slowing down even as stocks continue to book gains in the as third.” So far in the third quarter, the S&P 500 is up 3.23%, the NASDAQ is up 5.42% and the Dow is up 4.15%  and the Russell 2000 is up 4.07% as seen in the chart below.

 

Stock Market Volatility

More interesting is the fact that stocks have been booking decent gains in the last one month as the volatility index continues to fall in sharp contrast to prevailing geopolitical and economic developments. In the last one month, the S&P 500 gained 2.60%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.52%, NASDAQ was up 2.79% and small caps were on soaring with 7.79% gains in the Russell 2000. In contrast, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) had crashed to about 12.0% in the last one month to indicate that investors are not anxious about the short-term direction of the market.