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Articles tagged "volatility"

For the past several years, U.S. stock markets chugged their way higher via QE-induced fashion. Albeit on dwindling volume and waning volatility. Inevitably, that "trend" cannot last forever. The recent announcements of QE tapering coupled with other global factors have those same markets coming unraveled in the past couple of weeks here in April, what is usually a most bullish calendar month for stocks.

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An important idea for me is that I understand where the market I'm trading is in the big scheme of things. Understanding whether the market is trending or balancing and volatile or calm and where it is within these different phases in the various different timeframes, can give me critical information in order to weigh the probability of a trade I'm looking to take.

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Last week was a volatile one for crude oil futures, with the April contract closing the week at $102.58 a barrel having touched $105 per barrel at the start of the week. From a technical perspective until last week, the commodity had been firmly bullish, and the key event in mid February, was the breakout through the psychological $100 per barrel creating a strong platform of support in the region following the phase of price congestion at this level, earlier in the month.

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Amidst confusing news, stocks traded higher recently on low stock market volume. The world economy is ever so slowly coming out of the worst recession in three quarters of a century. Huge debt burdens plague both the USA and the EU, the two most powerful economies of the world. It seems that every day there is another pronouncement from Europe.

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We all know options are derivatives, and their prices are derived from the underlying stock, index, or ETF. But with other factors at work such as implied volatility, time decay, etc. Have you ever wondered how can you know how much an option is going to move with respect to say the underlying? Very simple - check out its delta.

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