Appearances may be deceptive when it comes to US equities.
January has been one for the bulls so far with the S and P 500 rising nearly 5 per cent and equity volatility hitting a series of lows not seen since 2007.
对看涨美国股市者而言，今年1月的股市迄今为止就是如此。标准普尔500指数(S and P 500)上涨近5%，股票波动性接连创下自2007年以来不曾出现的新低位。
At a reading of 12.59, implied volatility as measured by the CBOE’s Vix certainly suggests Wall Street’s “fear gauge” is hibernating for the winter.
Interpreted another way, the low Vix is a sign of investor confidence that stocks are set to climb further, particularly when the financial system is awash with money from profligate central banks.
“Central banks are flooding the system with money and we are not seeing the danger sign of inflation,” says Vadim Zlotnikov, chief market strategist at Alliance Bernstein.
联博有限公司(Alliance Bernstein)首席市场策略师瓦季姆•兹洛特尼科夫(Vadim Zlotnikov)表示：“各国央行正在向金融体系注入大量资金，同时没有迹象显示可能出现通胀。”
He adds: “Volatility is surprisingly low, but we are in a sweet spot for markets.”
Also helping depress volatility is the growing role of passive investment strategies that merely seek to follow an index, as popularised by fast-growing exchange traded funds.
But in a sign that the Vix may be misleadingly low, correlation, which tracks how S and P 500 sectors behave in relation to each other, rose over the new year to 88.5 per cent, up sharply over the past three months, according to ConvergEx.
That means investors still face a market that swings between the duelling sentiments of “risk on” and “risk off” and is evidence that for all the bullish talk about equities, markets have yet to recover fully from the financial crisis and extended central bank suppport.
这意味着，投资者面对的仍然是一个会在“风险追逐”(risk on)和“风险规避”(risk off)两种对立情绪之间摇摆的市场，这还表明，尽管股市上有一些看涨言论，但市场尚未完全从此次金融危机中复苏，并仍然依赖央行支持措施的延长。
That matters for investors and money managers for important reasons.