3:20 pm ET: Market-wise, it appears that I didn't miss much by taking off last Thursday and Friday. The major averages are still struggling to hang onto key psychological support levels: S&P 500 (SPX) 1400, Dow Industrials (DJIA) 13000, Dow Transports (DTX) 500. The bulls are rooting for them to close above these levels and judging by the way the VIX is continuing to fall from its early morning high, they may get their wish. But one day does not a rally make and we'll need to see the VIX reverse course for the major averages to begin trending higher. The rising VIX has been the rally's roadblock as of late.
Commodity Notes: The white metals made a big move today with most of them jumping over 2%. The biggest winners are aluminum (NYSEARCA:JJU), palladium (NYSEARCA:PALL), platinum (PGM, PPLT), and silver (NYSEARCA:SLV).
Silver staged what is technically known as an island reversal by leaping over $29 resistance on August 23rd. Islands themselves are neither bullish nor bearish but when they occur at the end of a price movement (as it did in this case), the ensuing breakout is typically a very bullish sign. If you'd like to get into the white metal, now is the time. Of course, no one can predict where it will top but a move to the $34.50 range seems likely, judging from the strength of its recent rally. Fortunately for you options players, the SLV has a very liquid playing field and tremendous volume is being seen in the September at-the-money calls.
Currency Notes: The Aussie dollar (NYSEARCA:FXA) tanked today as a result of deep spending cuts as demand for iron ore wanes. The currency etf pierced its $103 support level and could be heading right back down to test major support at $97. There are options on this issue but they are rather thinly traded.