The 10 Year under 2.5%, Bunds, Gilts, JGBs all following suit to record risk-aversion levels, the EURCHF at record lows, the USDJPY at 15 year lows, and now this: the CBOE Implied Correlation index has just hit another historic plateau, touching on 85 earlier in the day, which means that all those who believe relative value can still be found are about to be carted off. Aside from the fact that the current level of JCJ would be the highest closing level in history, the intraday high of 84.50 is a very troubling indicator, which once again confirms that stocks continue to trade not on fundamentals, and probably not on technicals, but on ever increasing amount of leverage applied to some indication of beta. Essentially, market participants are likely levered to the gills like never before and betting it all on another daily Hail Mary. Another way of looking at the reading, as we have pointed out previously, is that stock dispersion: the most critical indicator of a healthy market, is at 15%! And let's not forget we are currently still in the H.O. regime (and to all naysayers we remind that the market has dropped almost 4% since the first Hindenburg Omen appeared). So many coincident records, can hardly be a coincidence... We look forward to getting Matt Rothman's thoughts on this increasingly disturbing trend, and for the NYT to pick up on this theme within 4-6 weeks.
It was only Wednesday when we were lamenting the collapse of alpha after implied correlation hit an all time intraday high of just under 80. Well, today should be the day when all long/short funds are shutting down: implied corr just closed at an all time record high of 79.57, after also posting an absolute intraday record of 80.08. It is getting ever more obvious that stocks continue to trade more and more as just one asset class, as seen by the constant increase in JCJ below, which has risen almost 15% in this week alone. At this rate, every stock will trade just like every other stock in under 3 weeks when alpha is officially put to rest and stock dispersion has undergone an extinction level event (better known as HFT and ETF encroachment, in which it is the price that determines value and not the other way around).
Over the last 3 days implied correlation has surged back to extreme levels as professional investors once again see rising correlation throughout 2010 - traditionally seen as an alternative reading to the VIX as amarket crash predictor. With the VIX still sustained at artificially low levels, keep a close eye on this indicator.
The implied correlation reading between all asset classes has hit a 6 month high at 65.50, a jump which mimics the surge in the VIX. High implied correlation readings are indicative of crash risk expectations.
Could it be that after several months, the "sophisticated" investors are betting on a high-correlated event? One thing to keep in mind as one follows the meanderings of the VIX.