This morning on Tyler’s Trading he noted the mild reaction the VIX has had during this 6-day selloff. He notes it’s an odd situation but not one that is clearly predictable.
A measure of fear that I use here is the Quantifiable Edges Capitulative Breadth Indicator (CBI). The CBI looks for capitulative selling among S&P 100 stocks. During market pullbacks it is common to see the CBI rise. Very strong pullbacks will see higher readings, and as I have discussed many time before, readings of 10 or higher generally suggest a bounce is very near. But with the market down 6 days in a row the CBI is still at 0.
I looked back at other times the SPX closed down 6 days in a row. There have only been 3 of them, which is just another example of how odd recent market action has been. The other occurrences took place on 3/2/99, 8/1/11, and 11/23/11. With only 3 instances it would be dangerous to try and draw a conclusion about the meaning, but the instances couldn’t be much different anyway. The ’99 instance was quickly followed by solid gains. The 8/11 instance was followed by a massive selloff that only ended after the CBI did spike, and the 11/11 instance was immediately followed by a very sharp rally.
Not everything I look at is predictive, but that doesn’t mean it is useless information. While much of what I have been seeing suggests a bounce, knowing how unusual the setup is alerts you that the market is capable of just about anything, and the CBI example demonstrates that.