Daily Market Update – March 30, 2015  (Close)

This is a holiday shortened trading week, but there’s plenty to push or pull markets.

Lately it doesn’t take very much, at least nothing that can be identified, to make markets move in a meaningful manner.

For starters this week there’s no shortage of Federal Reserve Governors giving speeches, including Stanley Fischer and Janet Yellen.

Interestingly, neither of them moved markets last week in any of the 3 speeches they gave. Yellen’s came during the final 15 minutes of trading last week which could have ended up being very interesting for its timing, but she said little in response to some tepid questioning from her home town crowd in San Francisco.

What may be most interesting is that this week the stock market will be closed when the Employment Situation Report is released on Friday. Lately that report has shown that it still can move markets, but this time the only market that it could possibly move will be the bond market which will be open on Friday.

Stock markets may have some catching up to do if the bond markets decide that the data is interesting enough to warrant a large move, as has been the case lately. Those 10 Year Treasury rates are still below 2%, but they were significantly higher just a few weeks ago and could make that move easily enough with another unexpectedly strong Employment Situation Report

Otherwise, there’s not too much expected this week as much of the country is on spring break or getting prepared to begin their break after a long winter.

With only one assignment last week and another week with just a handful of positions set to expire, the likelihood is that any new positions this week would look at using a weekly option, although their premiums are expected to be proportionately lower as there’s less time value this week.

Still, with cash reserves low, I don’t expect too much activity and would have liked to have seen this morning’s pre-open futures rally continue.

It was a nice change of pace to get something that I had been hoping for.

While the triple digit kind of pre-opening moves tend to replicate themselves once the opening bell rings, I was reminded that last week was an example of one such pre-opening triple digit move that had no legs. Fortunately that was a dive of over 100 points, but it’s always a little disconcerting when patterns are broken.

Today was more true to form, so the hope that the morning’s optimism continued wasn’t in vain.

But just as with last week’s large drop, it wasn’t not too easy to identify a reason for the day’s move although most were looking at some overnight news from China that could be leading toward their own form of Quantitative Easing.

That always makes the move a little more suspect, but if it turns out to be the real thing I would be more than happy to see it put this week’s expiring positions into contention for either rollovers or assignmen
ts and would be perfectly happy if there was a repeat of two weeks ago and plenty of opportunity to sell calls on uncovered positions.

Last week was such a low activity week, despite being able to out-perform the market. That’s rarely something to be happy about when out-performing still represents a decline, even though it is critical to stay ahead, especially during down markets.

For this week it would be nice if we could finally put an end to the March pattern of trading, which was virtually identical to the January trading.

Hopefully April will bring a return to February an some opportunity to both trade and make some money while seeing assets appreciate at the same time.

That would be nice for a change. Today was a good start to usher that change in.