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Yesterday, on the back of the Fed's announcement of a new round of bond-buying of unspecified duration, the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI ) recorded its fifth multi-year high over the past six sessions. Small caps also benefited, as the Russell 2000 Index hit a new all-time high. And investors are holding onto that enthusiasm, with the Dow and S&P 500 Index (INDEX: ^GSPC ) up roughly half a percent so far today.
As animal spirits surge, so investors are setting their fears aside. The VIX Index (INDEX: ^VIX ) -- Wall Street's so-called "fear index" -- is now below 15. That level is worthy of the heyday of the credit bubble, not as we muddle through its aftermath. A low VIX reading may have been justifiable during the August doldrums since the index tracks market expectations for stock market volatility with only a 30-day forward outlook. In September, historically a difficult month for stocks, and as we inch closer to the fiscal cliff, it's positively stunning. If you want a dispassionate and historically informed analysis of the risks we face, you could do worse than listen to Ray Dalio, who runs the world's largest hedge fund manager, explain his macroeconomic framework.
In an environment flush with the Fed's largesse, we can expect commodity price inflation. In that environment, informed investors will want to look at these 3 Stocks for $100 Oil.