Week Ending 12/20/2019


  • US stocks hit a new record every day this week, up 1.77% for the five days.
  • Market sentiment is extremely positive, the exact opposite of one year ago.
  • But some traders are betting on a decline in the S&P 500 in a few months.


Stocks continued their relentless advance, hitting record highs every single day of the week. In the US, equities were up by 1.77% and outside the US, +0.88%. Since October 28th, when the US stock market broke through resistance, stocks are up by 7.7%.

However, one year ago at this time, it was just the opposite. US stocks hit their low on 12/24/2018, having fallen by 16.3% since 12/3/18. Market sentiment was about as negative as possible. CNN’s Fear and Greed Index showed extreme fear at the time, measuring a 5 out of a possible 100. That is in contrast with the reading on Friday of 91, indicating extreme greed.


One place that isn’t showing extreme optimism is the Skew Index. Bearish bets on the fall of the S&P 500 have been increasing in recent months. The CBOE Skew Index, which measures trader expectations of extreme moves in the stock market, reached its highest level since September. Likewise, the cost of options betting on a falling market versus those betting a higher market has been near the highest levels of the year.