OpinionMarkets & Economy

How long will we be in this financial market standstill?

The period of exceptionally low volatility goes all the way back to March
  • If we don’t know why we have gone flat, it’s a reach to guess at the next move -- up or down -- but it will be one of the two, and the longer we stay flat, the more violent the shakeup will be.

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Financial markets are in a most peculiar place: a standstill. This last week extended the June freeze: The 10-year T-note this week traded between 2.19 percent and 2.14 percent; mortgages are not moving at all, hovering close to 4.00 percent; and the S&P 500 stayed between 2435 and 2447. The period of exceptionally low volatility goes all the way back to March. Are markets stalled because there is no news, or is there no news because markets are stalled?' The 10-year T-note in the last year. Hardly moving at all, but the movement is down. Financial markets change prices to reflect changed facts and expectations, usually economic ones but also local politics and geopolitics -- and of course the old, mindless force of rebalancing more buyers than sellers or vice-versa. That’s a lot of nuthin’ happenin’. We must look back eight months to find at the last big action, the huge jump in long-term interest rates which coincided with the election, when the 10-year T-note ...