Mike Santoli's market notes: Back into super-cap growth stocks, VIX accident waiting to happen?

  • Quiet session follows the old low-growth/high-liquidity playbook. Most stocks started soft with the cyclical reopening/value trade slipping, but the super-cap growth leaders that trade almost like bonds are flattering the indexes and the average stock firmed up on vague headlines of White House support for more stimulus checks.
  • The S&P has been sideways for about three weeks, but with very little net damage done to the benchmark. Seasonal headwinds tend to show up around now, the week after June options expiration often weak and a sizable pension-rebalancing trade out of equities is anticipated into month-end. Yet the S&P hangs around 3100 thanks to the familiar FAANGM and similar names.
  • Some discussion over the direction of the "pain trade" from here. Positioning among hedge funds and systematic traders remains pretty cautious, by most measures, but options traders and discretionary fund managers are aggressively playing for more upside. Retail is hesitant to jump in, but the adrenaline junkies in the Robinhood/Barstool orbit are still driving fast without seat belts.