For the second day in a row, the Nasdaq index fell while the Dow Jones Industrials and Russell 200 rallied, though today the S&P 500 fell slightly. Gold futures prices were higher today after yesterday’s big price break and US Treasury futures prices were just slightly lower. WTI Crude Oil futures prices rose again today. In the WTI Crude Oil options markets, volatility has come down but the Calls have been bid relative to Puts over the last several days.
Changing gears a bit, the USDA WASDE (Supply/Demand) report was released at 11:00 AM Central Time today, after which we saw rallies in CME Group grain markets. As of mid-afternoon trading, both Corn and Soybean futures prices were both up by over 3% after the report indicated higher than expected Corn demand and lower than expected Soybean production, yields and ending stocks. The QuikStrike graph below that depicts January ATM volatility going all the way back to 2014, shows (the yellow line) that implied volatility is currently higher at this time of year than during any year since 2014. The lower part of the graph shows that only in 2014 was the price as high as it is now.