Friday, December 18, 2020

Morning Note: Fundamental Knowledge vs Perception

Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500 on Monday will stir up a flurry of volume -- and potentially volatility -- near the market close today. 

The utter enormity of the shuffling within the equity and derivatives markets that's about to occur... well... let's just say that the timing -- heading into a low-volume/liquidity time of year, and on a day when options and futures contracts on indexes, and on stocks themselves expire (so-called "quadruple witching") -- for making the biggest add to the S&P 500 Index ever was perhaps not all that well thought out...

Asian stocks fared poorly overnight, with 13 of the 16 markets we track closing in the red.

Europe's mixed to start the day, with 10 of the 19 bourses we follow trading lower as I type.

U.S. major averages (save for the Russell) are leaning red to start the day: Dow down 160 points (0.53%), SP500 down 0.47%, Nasdaq down 0.46%, Russell 2000 up 0.37%.

The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is up 5.20%. VXN (Nasdaq i.v.) is up 3.40%.

Oil futures are up 1.39%, gold's up 0.05%, silver's down 0.39%, copper futures are up 0.81% and the ag complex is down 0.13%.

The 10-year treasury is flat (yield flat) and the dollar is up 0.34%.

Weighed down by energy, banks, AT&T, financials and Eurozone equities, our core portfolio is off 0.25% so far this morning.

This from Carl Popper resonates with me in terms of the importance of knowledge vs perception. I.e., understanding the fundamental reality of where we are at any given moment and filtering perception through that reality:

"Perceptions are relatively unimportant paths to knowledge; what counts most is not that control of the momentary surroundings that allows us to have perceptions. Knowledge, fundamental knowledge, is rather like a feeler that we put out in all directions. The key thing, when I am here, is that I know I am in Vienna, I am in Austria. That kind of knowledge is more important for me than momentary perceptions, because it is fundamental to their interpretation."

Have a nice day!

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