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Oregon and New Mexico announce statewide coronavirus lockdowns

The question has been How long would it be before the surge in new coronavirus infections forced states to re-institute the lockdowns and "stay at home" orders they used to contain earlier spikes in the pandemic? The answer, I'd say, is that a new round of "stay at home" orders has started today.

Initial claims for unemployment drop–but it’s not enough

New claims for unemployment in regular state-run programs fell to an adjusted 709,000 in the week ended on November 7. That was down 48,000 from the prior week. On an unadjusted basis, the figure fell by 21,000. Continuing claims--the total number of Americans claiming state unemployment assistance--fell by 436,000 to 6.79 million in the week ended October 31.

This market is way, way too complacent

The VIX, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index, gained 11% today to close at 26.03. But the index, which measures how much investors and traders are wiling to pay in the options market to hedge risk on the Standard & Poor's 500 index of stocks looking out over the next couple of months, is still down from 40.28 on October 28. And from 35.55 on November 3 and 29.57 on November 4. (A higher reading on the VIX indicted more fear among investors and traders. Which is why the VIX is often called "the fear index." Even with today's move higher, the index is below the 200-day moving average at 31.94 and below the 50-day moving average at 28.60 and below the 20-day moving average at 30.71. This all adds up to an extraordinary degree of complacency given what investors and traders can see in the real world.

Why Hedge Fund Investors Are Like Monty Python’s Black Knight

Plenty of people joke that it’s tough to make Canadians mad. They’re reputed to be tolerant and polite. My wife and I once stayed at a B&B in Victoria, British Columbia. We ate breakfast with two young guys from California. “Canadians are so nice,” they said. “In fact, today our main goal is to see if we can piss someone off.”

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