I focus on the oil and gas markets and energy stocks. But that hardly immunizes me from the rest of the macro environment – the major stock averages, interest rates and the moves from the Fed, the dollar and other currencies. It would be just plain stupid to solely concentrate on my own little world while ignoring the bigger devils that might lurk outside. I’d look like a fool putting the final touches on my own sand castle, perhaps ignoring a big wave I would see coming, if only I took a moment to look up.
And this last week was one that demanded I look up.
Stock markets dove, rose, dove and rose again, with the kind of high volatility we always think won’t reappear --- and then always does. Big swings make for big anxiety, and we’ve got to get a grip on that before we again tackle our own beloved oil stocks.
After nearly 40 years in the markets, I’ll tell you this – big volatility doesn’t usually disappear overnight, despite appearing just that quickly. Experience also says that high volatility isn’t a very bullish sign either. Like kids sledding on a hill – Up is a slow climb, while down is a fast whirlwind.
Since the stock market recovery began in 2009, one overarching theme has continued to power the bull market -- low interest rates from the Federal Reserve. That policy is slowly coming to an end. In addition, the last year of out-sized gains have been supercharged by the prospect of a big…