Wall Street flat; fear barometer falls to 1993 low

Wall Street flat; fear barometer falls to 1993 low

Wall Street flat; fear barometer falls to 1993 low

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record intraday highs on Monday, while the VIX .VIX , Wall Street's "fear gauge", closed at its lowest level since 1993.

The CBOE Volatility Index fell to a 24-year low of 9.70 with a 8% move down.

Fading political risk following France's election of centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron over eurosceptic Marine Le Pen, a strong United States results season, and an improving global economy appear to be helping investors sleep better at night, if recent measures of volatility are anything to go by.

"In the short-term, investors can enjoy this run, but they should start to hedge their positions and look for safety", said Christian Magoon, chief executive at Amplify ETFs in Chicago, Illinois. The Vix measures potential price swings in the S&P 500 market, and therefore the market's expectation of near-term volatility.

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The S&P 500 was down 1.98 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,397.31, easing from an all-time high of 2,401.36.

All seemed calm in Europe too, where stock volatility, judged by the Euro Stoxx 50 Volatility Index, fell on Monday to its lowest level since March.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 11.72 points, or 0.19 percent, at 6,114.38, after hitting an all-time high of 6,116.47. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury note yield [BX: TMUBMUSD10Y], which moves inversely to price, was at 2.40%, around the highest level in weeks for the benchmark bond.

"While some U.S. economic data may have disappointed recently but overall the economy is still growing, unemployment is still extremely low, inflation is very much in check and the U.S. Federal Reserve is raising rates but at a very low pace", said Mandy Xu, derivatives strategist at Credit Suisse. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was largely unchanged from its Friday close at 21,012.28.

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That's happened as global equity markets rally 9 percent so far this year, buoyed by double-digit percentage gains in European markets, led by surges in French and German shares.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,352 to 1,183.

The S&P 500 index showed 19 52-week highs and no lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 highs and 11 lows.

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