With volume in S&P futures more than 20% below average, the afternoon's rumor-mill managed to juice stocks to overnight highs, well ahead of credit once again and more than two standard deviations above the day's VWAP. Interestingly, today's VWAP and Friday's VWAP were within 1 S&P point, rather coincidental given the 2% swings from high to low to high during the day.
Notably we shifted from almost 2 standard deviations below VWAP at today's lows to over 2 standard deviations at the close - though notably little real auctioning shifts happened - as the solid dark blue line shows - with peak volume trading flat from mid-morning. The dark red line is the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) for today's action (and the dashed dark red horizontal line is the VWAP for Friday). The fact that heaviest transaction volume occurred at VWAP today and that is very close to Friday's VWAP suggests that so-called Mutual Fund Monday (inflows) were not really active.
ES managed once again to handily outperform as buyers appeared into the rumpr this afternoon - with HY credit remaining notably cheap to stocks, we should be seeing it outperform if risk appetite was really back. We also note the exact same behavior on Friday that reverted dramatically overnight.
Gold and Silver followed each other tick for tick and the former almost touched $1800 into the close as the USD leaked lower on the day.
For some balance, it is worth noting that broad risk markets were not as weak as ES during the day which likely meant that correlations were implicitly dragging stocks to the upside for much of the day (imply bias to buying from the algos). The CONTEXT model shows that ES tended not to drag broad risk lower and by the close we had reverted 'up' in ES to a more broad-risk-based perspective of what was fair (based on correlations).
All-in-all, an odd somewhat news-less volume-less day that seemed dominated by algos (for a change) as opposed to real risk appetite - even though HY actually some issuance (where concessions were very high). Intriguingly, we note that the rumors of something out of Europe started to appear as ES shifted to its most weak relative to broad risk assets (oh yes we are sure the whole European crisis will be over in 1-2 years!) and then was juiced by more 'news' at around 3pmET (wow, an EFSF structured credit vehicle with external buyers...brilliant!) - were 'they' starting to worry that they were losing control?