The SPY fell by 0.81% for the week making it three consecutive weeks of losses. The market is 2.9% off its closing high of 211.99 and was 3.5% off that number Wednesday. The VIX closed the week at an even 16.00 and has so far peaked at 16.87. So we really haven’t seen much of a decline and there is no significant fear in this market at that moment, in other words, there may be more to go.
The big story this week is the continued ascent of the US dollar. The strength of the US economy as well as the “towering” yields offered by US treasuries compared to anywhere else in the world have put the USD on straight path north. While the stronger dollar may not have a significant impact on the real US economy, it will have an impact on earnings in the SP500 which have significant exposure to overseas business. Lower possible SP500 earnings is holding the market back, at least for now.
Investors are also waiting on the Fed meeting this week and if the word “patient” will be removed from Fed guidance. That would mean a likely increase in June, instead of September.
The Fed increase is not a done deal and there is still a lot of debate about its merits. Bond King Jeffrey Gundlach in a conference call on March 10 is against it and said it would be a “blockhead” move in light of a fragile US economy as well as negative rates overseas.
Another factor impacting the market is falling oil prices. Oil dropped 10% to $44.84 per barrel.