Daily Report : Smart money insiders buy stocks and futures; Volatility flip; Putting the "rat" in rating

Insiders have picked up their pace of buying their own company stock, and "smart money" hedgers have finally stepped up their buying of equity index futures.; Implied volatility in the Nasdaq 100 has been lower than for the S&P 500 for three straight weeks. This is highly unusual, since big tech stocks tend to be more volatile than the broader market. Over these weeks, there has been a record spread between the VXN and the VIX.; Ratings agencies have been busy downgrading the debt of S&P 500 companies in recent days. The past month has seen a record number of downgrades, something the agencies are loathe to do, and which they delay as long as possible. The peak has usually come as price declines have run their course.

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