Cboe Global Markets

The Week that Was: November 8 to November 12

Kevin Davitt
November 15, 2021

A concise weekly overview of the U.S. equities and derivatives markets

Last week (November 8 – November 12), inflation was the word of the week in U.S. equity markets. The large and small cap indices all fell incrementally but remain near all-time highs. On Wednesday, new Consumer Price Index (CPI) data showed an annualized increase of 6.2%, the highest annual inflation reading since 1990. Additionally, Producer Price Index (PPI) data was up 8.6%, the highest reading in 11 years. Core CPI has been above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2.0% for seven months. Between late 2011 and early 2020 (pre-pandemic), CPI averaged an increase of 1.6% annually. The narrative underpinning the inflation data remains centered on strong demand, supply chain issues, higher commodity prices and labor imbalances.

U.S. Treasuries sold off (yields higher) following the release of PPI and CPI data. The probability of more than one hike in the Fed Funds rate next year climbed. The Fed’s tapering of its monthly asset purchases is expected to conclude around June 2022, when the prospect of hikes will become more likely. Reports that President Biden interviewed Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, a perceived “dove,” as well as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last week, indicate that the administration is making progress toward nominating the next Federal Reserve chair.

The University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index data released on Friday was weak, falling to the lowest level since 2010. In terms of S&P 500 Index sector performance, the Health Care and Industrials sectors led with slight gains, while the Consumer Discretionary and Energy sectors lagged, declining 3.6% and 1.6% respectively.

Quick Bites

Indices

  • U.S. Equity Indices traded lower in the first half of the week and rallied at the tail end.
  • S&P 500 Index (SPX®): Decreased 0.31% week-over-week.
  • Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX): Decreased 1.0% week-over-week. 
  • Russell 2000 Index (RUT℠): Decreased 1.1%. week-over-week.
  • Cboe Volatility Index (VIX™ Index): Measured between 19.90 and 16.15 last week.

Options

  • SPX options average daily volume (ADV) was 1.42 million contracts per day, slightly below the previous week’s average of 1.6 million contracts per day. The one-week at-the-money (ATM) SPX options straddle (4685 strike with an 11/19 expiration) implies a +/- range of about 1.1%.
  • VIX options ADV was about 420,000 contracts last week, which was above the previous week’s ADV of 380,000 contracts. The VIX options call-put ratio was 1.52:1.
  • RUT options ADV was 56,500 contracts, down from the previous week’s ADV of 91,200.

Across the Pond

  • The Euro STOXX 50 Index decreased 0.9% on the week.
  • The MSCI EAFE Index (MXEA℠) decreased 0.37% week-over-week and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF℠) gained 1.6% week-over-week.  

Charting It Out

Observations on VIX futures term structure

  • The VIX Index was slightly lower week-over-week and closed very near the 16.50 level for the third straight week.
  • The VIX futures curve steepened, with the November VIX futures contract declining by 0.90 and the December VIX futures falling 0.45. The Month-1/Month-2 spread settled at 2.60 wide, compared to 2.15 the week prior.
  • The standard November VIX futures and options will expire and cash settle on Wednesday, November 17.

Source: LiveVol Pro

Macro Movers

  • The U.S. 10-year Treasury Yield fell to 1.42% early in the week. Yields shot higher Wednesday, following the release of Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. By Friday, the 10-year yield was up to 1.59%.
  • From a volatility standpoint, Wednesday’s decline in U.S. treasury prices (increase in yields) were two to six standard deviation shifts, depending on tenor. The probability of two or more interest rate hikes in 2022 moved yields higher on the week.
  • The S&P GSCI was effectively unchanged last week. Natural Gas futures continued to decline, falling about 13% on the week. Crude Oil lost 0.5%. The Grain Complex rebounded after the previous week’s selloff. The soft markets, including Coffee, Cocoa, Sugar and Orange Juice, rallied.
  • The leaders in the S&P 500 Index and Technology sector were little changed on the week, except for Tesla. Shares of the electric vehicle automaker fell approximately 16%, which was the worst weekly performance since March 2020.
  • According to public filings, Elon Musk recently sold more than $5 billion worth of Tesla shares but still owns more than 165 million shares of the company.

Major Cryptos

Bitcoin

  • Last week Bitcoin (BTC) traded to new all-time highs around $69,000 and ended the week at $64,400, up 5.4% week-over-week.

Ethereum

  • Ethereum (ETH) traded between $4,900 and $4,330 last week and ended the week at $4,700, higher by 4.2% week-over-week.

Digital Asset Industry

  • Several altcoins made significant moves last week. Avalanche (AVAX) jumped 32.3%, NEAR Protocol (NEAR) gained 26% and Algorand (ALGO) climbed 24.3%.
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act catalyzed bullish sentiment in the digital asset sector. The bill also includes provisions that expand the tax reporting rules for digital asset firms. The proposed regulation lends credence to digital asset legitimacy and reduces the risk of outright bans in the U.S.
  • On Tuesday, the total digital asset market cap value surpassed $3 trillion. A year ago, the market cap was $580 billion.
  • Australia’s biggest bank (CBA) became the country’s first bank to allow end users to buy, sell and hold digital assets through its app.
  • JP Morgan’s wealth management clients now have access to digital asset funds. 

Coronavirus

  • The 7-day average COVID-19 infection rate in the U.S. was slightly higher week-over-week, moving from approximately 72,000 to approximately 76,000.  
  • 59% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 68% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For just those 12 years and older, the numbers are 69% and 79% respectively.
  • Parts of California, Colorado, and New Mexico are currently struggling with outbreaks.
  • Globally, the 7-day average climbed from approximately 443,000 to approximately 463,000.
  • Britain became the first country to authorize Merck’s antiviral pill for treating COVID-19.

COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.

Source: The New York Times

Tidbits from the News

  • Data released Wednesday showed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is up 6.2% year-over-year. Expectations called for 5.9% increase, the hottest inflation number since 1990.

Federal Funds Effective Rate Less 12-Month Change in Consumer Price Index

Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve

  • The bond market reacted swiftly to the inflation data released Wednesday. Yields climbed across maturities. Relative to volatility levels, there was a nearly 6 standard deviation change in 2-year treasuries. There’s also been a divergence between interest rate implied volatilities and equity index implied volatilities.

S&P U.S. Treasury Bond Indices

Source: The Daily Shot

  • The Cyclically Adjusted Price-Earnings (CAPE) ratio is back at 40 for the first time in 21 years. The S&P 500 Index valuation metric looks at average earnings over a 10-year period, adjusted for inflation, relative to the “price” level for the index. The one-year forward S&P 500 Index PE ratio is a more muted 21.5, according to Yardeni Research. In 2000, that measure was approximately 26.  

Cyclically Adjusted Price-Earnings (CAPE) Ratio

Source: Multpl/Robert Shiller

The Week Ahead

  • Data to be released this week: Empire State Manufacturing on Monday; Retail Sales, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Home Builders Index on Tuesday; Building Permits on Wednesday; Initial Jobless Claims and Philly Fed on Thursday.

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