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I prefer to visualize the market's current fear level by watching not only the VIX, but also the differential relative strength between a number of increasingly conservative assets. In this chart, you see the three months of the VIX, as well as such a chain of comparisons between the Gold/Silver Index, the 13-Week Treasury rate, the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000.

Based on today's market action so far, I expect volatility and flight from less conservative assets to only continue in the short-term. Until the Treasury/S&P and the S&P/Russell signals can hold without significant downtrends, I would hesitate to expect much sustainable upward action from the market.

click to enlarge
vix fear

Source: Gauging Investor Fear Beneath the VIX