Remember those dark and dreary days when you would scamper and scurry for warmth and peace of mind? This might sound familiar to those who spend their winters in the Pacific Northwest, but what I'm referring to is the broad markets before the current short-term rally we're enjoying.
Today, the 10-year Treasury yield reached a five-week high as the next batches of government bonds are drawing the lowest demand in three years. That's a far cry from a few weeks ago, when investors were fleeing the stock market and blindly throwing their money into government bonds for the safe but paltry 1.40% yield. The lack of demand for Treasuries shows investors are starting to gain more confidence in the markets and once again are warming to the plethora of undervalued assets still available. The current spending increase has buoyed the S&P 500
The calm that has come over the markets can also be measured using the S&P 500 Volatility Index. Today the index reached 15.32, 68% less than this time last year.
The general consensus is that a VIX above 30 indicates extreme volatility and a number under 20 corresponds to a calm and complacent market. The chart above shows the Volatility Index as well as the S&P 500 over the past five years, and the general trend is that increased volatility causes short term downturns in the market.
With confidence building in the market, let's take a look at a few components from the Dow Jones
The top Dow blue chip was Hewlett-Packard
Also grabbing the bull by the horns was ExxonMobil
The tailwinds helping crude oil prices advance are the same that boosted Alcoa
The Foolish bottom line
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Joel South and The Motley Fool own shares of ExxonMobil. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.