Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Business | By Pat Ferguson

Futures rise as risk-on sentiment improves

Futures rise as risk-on sentiment improves

That's right. The last time the VIX touched a level this low, it was 1993 and Sleepless in Seattle was about to hit movie house marquees.

The S&P 500 opened at an all-time record 2,401 points and the VIX index of implied volatility - known as the Wall Street "fear gauge" - fell to 9.56 points, the lowest since late 2006.

Investor sentiment has been bolstered by historically low US stock market volatility, last weekend's French presidential election result and solid corporate earnings.

In contrast, I view decreasing levels of equity volatility as a very bullish quantitative factor, given the current U.S. Fundamental Gravity of accelerating growth.

Oil prices fell, surrendering earlier gains, rattled by concern over slowing demand and rising USA crude output that has shaken investors' faith in the ability of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to rebalance the market.

Dow e-minis were up 37 points, or 0.18 percent at 8:36 a.m. ET (1236 GMT), with 17,743 contracts changing hands.

Brent crude futures were last down 1.1 percent at $48.80 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate was off 1 percent at $45.96.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.3 per cent even as copper slid to a four-month low after data showed a sharp drop in imports into China.

Futures rise as risk-on sentiment improves

Chintawongvanich, derivatives strategist at Macro Risk Advisors in NY said the CBOE Volatility Index, which is popularly known as the VIX, is the widely followed barometer of anticipated near-term volatility of stock market.

Endo International ENDP.O , Office Depot ODP.O and Marriott MAR.O also rose after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. German yields rose by 1-2 basis points and the 10-year British gilt yield rose around 4 basis points.

Straight Path STRP.A surged more than 30 percent to after an unnamed telecommunications company raised its offer to buy the wireless spectrum holder for about $3.1 billion, trumping a bid by AT&T T.N . Sources told Reuters that the bidder was Verizon.

Tyson Foods was the biggest S&P loser, down 6.08 per cent after the meat processor reported a slump in quarterly profit.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,352 to 1,183.

The S&P 500 briefly touched a record high of 2,399.94.

About 6.3 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, below the 6.6 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

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