There was a sharp increase in volatility in October, with significant moves up and down in the stock market. In the beginning of the month, stocks were negative, with concerns over European growth, Ebola, rapidly falling oil prices and the end of Feds bond buying program. The S&P 500 decreased 4% from the beginning of October to the middle of the month.
The market made an about face the rest of the month, ending October with a positive outlook. Excellent earnings from firms like VISA, General Motors and Caterpillar supported moves higher, as did the announcement of 3.5% U.S. GDP growth for the third quarter. At the end of last week the Bank of Japan announced a surprising move that excited markets a large increase in its bond buying program and an increase in the purchase of Japanese stocks by the government. The net result was a 3.8% rise in stocks for the month. Accordingly, October may give a sense of how the markets might behave without the backdrop of Federal Reserve intervention increased up and down movements.