Traders will remember the first two weeks of 2016. SPX closed at $1880, down $42 today and down 7.7% for the year. SPX traded down and broke through the August flash crash lows today, but the good news is that SPX bounced and closed above those lows. But we will see if that matters on Tuesday. RUT closed at $1008, down $18. RUT traded weaker than SPX over all of 2015, and this year is no different so far. RUT is off 11% for the year. RUT broke through the August flash crash lows back on January 6th, and broke through the October 2014 correction lows on January 11th. RUT traded as low as $984 this afternoon before recovering somewhat into the close. You have to go back to the summer of 2013 on the charts to find RUT trading around $980.
Trading volume remains high with 3.9 billion shares of the S&P 500 stocks trading. Trading volume increased 17% on the NYSE and rose 6% on NASDAQ. But higher volumes on option expiration aren't unusual. Implied volatility has been high as the market has tanked; the VIX hit 31% intraday and closed today at 27%, up three points.
Our markets will be closed Monday. It is impossible to predict what news event might occur over the long weekend and either accelerate the downward spiral or stimulate a strong bounce higher. I have hedged our February iron condor position and been whipsawed several times. At the close today, that position is being held at about a 7% loss. We'll see what next week brings.