FED EASING = o% interest rates, buying mortgage backed secutities, and buying treasury bonds
Large corporations are buying smaller corporations with either the cash on hand (since it pays next to nothing) or borrowing the money at artificially low rates. Then they take the "synergistic savings" from the merger and buy back their own stock.
This chart says it all!
You can follow all the illegal monopolistic/oligopolistic activity at these sites:
Individual companies are pursuing growth opportunites thru M & A. Since corporations have almost $2 trillion in cash, we are seeing unprecedented activity. The company being acquired often has a >10% rise in their stock price.
But the marginal social costs exceed marginal social benefits!
Consolidation forces the closure of plants and mass layoffs. This ruins both consumption and tax revenues at the local level. So we don't see an increase in GDP, rather, we see an increase in corporate profits.
This index measures the cost of option protection (insurance). It trades in the futures market (CBOE). That means it has a spot price (today) and a futures price (next month, and the next month, and so on)
To make it accessible to stock traders, several products (such as VXX) have been created. VXX is normally in contango. That means the price today is less than the future price. You lose money because when it rolls to the next month, you sell low and buy higher.
During market downturns, VXX goes into backwardation. You make money since you sell high and buy lower as it rolls to the next month.
BUT BACKWARDATION ONLY PERSISTS TEMPORARILY!
To make $$$, you must own XIV. This product is the inverse of volatility. But I would only average into this as the spot ^VIX rises above 20.