John Authers analyses a bad week, and points out that the damage to markets could have been far worse; stocks remain high and volatility low, while investors are more optimistic about European politics.
March the 24th is in the books here on Wall Street. Here is the New York minute. We've had the worst week for the US stock market since the election. Not coincidentally, it's also probably been the worst political week for the president since the election, as well. But on both fronts, it could be much worse.
This is what's happened to the S&P 500 for the week. It is down, and you can see that there have been plenty of gyrations as we've heard new developments about the health care bill. But as it stands, people are still not clear exactly how negative this is. If it means we get tax reform earlier, that would even be a positive for the market.
Now, if you take a look at the Vix index, a measure of volatility, you can see it has risen, but it's still at a very low level. Meanwhile, the dollar is more or less unaffected by the latest ructions, although plainly it has lost a bit. Meanwhile, one big counterbalance over in France, as you can see from the way the gap-- the extra yields people demand from French bonds has moved. People are less worried for some reason about the prospect of President Marine Le Pen. And that's the New York minute.