Whiplash Is The Theme Of The Week As Stock Markets Had Their Biggest Daily Swings In Years
Whiplash is the theme of the week as stock markets had their biggest daily swings in years while energy futures are getting swept up in the confusion. After a busy Monday, we’ve already seen a nickel swing in ULSD prices today, with RBOB and crude oil contracts seeing similar back and forth action in the early going.
Looking at only the charts, and not the headlines, refined products have so far been able to find technical support around the trend-lines that have fueled their bull run over the past 6 weeks. If we see ULSD continue to hold a floor just north of $2.60 and RBOB around $2.40, there’s a good chance we end up seeing another run at 2014 prices levels, but if those levels break (and hold) there’s a good chance we’ll see a 10-15 cent drop coming soon.
The DJIA had its biggest daily swing since the onset of the pandemic, rallying from an 1,100 point loss mid-day to end the session up nearly 100 points, but is pointing to another weak start down nearly 400 points this morning. The Nasdaq 100 had an even bigger bounce, rallying more than 5% off of its lows for the day, the biggest daily reversal since the financial crisis in 2008, but it too is looking weaker again to start today’s trading.
Perhaps the biggest headwind for stocks is that the FED has been signaling that it will not be coming to the rescue to prop up financial markets, and in fact will be tightening its monetary policy and raising rates, taking the free put option out of the market. How this impacts energy prices can depend on the day, as often times the correlation between the two asset classes can be strong and they move in lock step, but currently are only moving together for short periods of time.
The VIX chart below shows that stocks are more “nervous” now than they’ve been since we first learned about Omicron, and while energy volatility is elevated, it’s nowhere close to what we saw 2 months ago.
The escalating tensions around Ukraine have become a double-edged sword for energy prices as they weigh heavily on financial markets, adding to the unpredictable nature of trading this week after helping fuel the rally for the past 2 months.
A new report from McKinsey & Company suggests that the transition to net zero will require an extra $3.5 trillion in spending per year through 2050, for a total of $275 trillion. Too bad the FED has closed down its printing press for the time being or that would seem like pocket change. The report also noted that while the transition to new fuels may cost 185 million existing jobs, it will create roughly 200 million new positions.