Daily Archives: May 12, 2017 at 07:39 am EDT

Stock Market Volatility and Recessions: A Primer

The unusually low level of stock market volatility has drawn widespread attention recently as the crowd tries to decipher what it means for equity investing and the economy. One of the interpretations is that low vol is a sign that recession risk is low. That’s true, at least at the moment. But the historical connection between market volatility and the business cycle is too unstable for drawing general lessons about recession risk. In other words, it’s dangerous to assume from volatility alone that the near-term outlook for the US economy is rosy. The opposite is true too: a spike in vol by itself doesn’t always signal a new recession.
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