"Psst. Hey, Bud. Want a sure thing? Anytime the VIX has an 11 handle, back up the truck and go long volatility because you will never lose money. Doesn't happen often, but when it does."
That's the thing about markets, the only predictability about them is the unpredictability which for some odd reason is manifested in periods of complacency which only occur when market denizens believe they have it figured out, as evidenced by record low volatility readings.
Newly hawkish Fed head Eric Rosengren's comments last Friday led to a one-day 50 percent spike in the CBOE Volatility Index, which then only beat a slight retreat after Fed Governor Lael Brainard, in an apparently unscheduled speech on Monday that was much anticipated as to whether or not she too would make the turn to the dark side, instead reiterated her case for standing pat on rates. Friday's equity losses were partially recovered and the week, which experienced continued volatility, ended on a mostly positive note despite some steep intraday losses midday due to triple-witch Friday.
Europe remained ... well, let's just be polite and say "out of favor" as did oil, traders justifiably coming to their senses, assigning a higher weight to inventory data than to talk of a potential production freeze from Putin. Treasurys and other sovereign debt were the most interesting storylines as yields either held steady or continued to climb.