The creature before us cannot be the bull that we once knew. The bull ran wild from 2011 through the first half of 2015, but then, sadly—and officially—it died. A bull market ends, in technical terms, when the market falls over a six-month period, and the S&P 500 actually fell a twelve-month period, from June 2015 to June 2016. This bull, though cloaked in the flesh of its predecessor, is powered by strange forces that most analysts cannot yet comprehend, let alone predict. In other news, Fred’s (FRED) has agreed to buy 865 stores from Rite Aid (RAD) and Walgreens (WBA), doubling its footprint. Shares of FRED are up 71%. You go, Fred!
Here are your Tuesday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include multiline retail, airlines, and trading companies. Industries showing weakness include tobacco, food products, and beverages. The VIX is down 0.2% to 11.69 after closing on Monday at 11.71. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), with 5,095 December-23 136 puts on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.83 (225,413/188,104). NYSE Adv/Dec 2,018/871. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 1,852/167.