Up and down, volatility in the markets is spooky

Over the last few weeks, the relative calm in the markets has all but evaporated.  While yesterday’s Dow average shot up nearly 3%, this was only after a week of steady declines after sudden moves in both directions.

What is consistent here is that volume is up – way up.  The VIX volatility index is at one of its highest points since the big panic hit in 2008, so whether the direction of the markets is up or down the swings have each been both wild and significant.

With European debt concerns rising and the U.S. mortgage market still stuck in its own dangerous spiral, there’s little to be bullish about in the medium term.

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