Less than a month ago the CBOE volatility index – known as the best indicator of fear in the markets – dropped to a record low of below 9. The declines were a result of steady equity markets, low trading volumes, and optimism that the markets were heading higher. This has all changed in the past two weeks, with the fear index rallying from a low of 9.52 to 17.28 – an 81% spike in 4 days from Aug 8 to Aug 11.
The U.S. dollar remained on the defensive early Thursday, after yesterday’s declines led by increased uncertainty over another U.S. rate hike in 2017 and President Donald Trump’s fiscal agenda after abolishing the Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum.
Before he was fired, former FBI Director James Comey has sought more resources for Russia probe. In a farewell letter to staff, Comey said the President had the full authority to fire him and would not dwell on the decision. Democrats called for an independent probe of the Russia issue.