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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The put/call ratio

Now this is one strange chart.

The first thing that is odd is that the put/call ratio today was 1.12 which is very high for a 52 week high in SPX.  The second thing is the 10 DMA of the put/call ratio.  That MA stands at 1.08.  Since the March 09 low it has climbed above this level on four other occasions marked by the purple lines.  As you can see in each of those instances SPX was several weeks off its high and had given people reason to hedge.  I looked all the way back to 2000 and it has never been this high at a 52 week high in SPX.  What the heck does this mean for the market?  Today's high reading means somebody does not believe in the break out.  There have been a lot of puts bought over the last 10 days without driving up the VIX much.  Is this smart money or dumb money buying these puts?  I am sure this means something, but since I can't find a prior instance it is a bit hard to say what.  I suspect it means a big move is in the works.  If it was dumb money and the market keeps going up the unwinding of these puts could put upward pressure on stocks.  If it is smart money, then look out below.  With the expanding volatility pattern we are seeing on SPX it could get violent on the downside.

Even after all the years I have been studying the market it manages to pull something off I have never seen before now and again.  I am curious to see how this plays out.


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