While there is no shortage of drama these days, you haven’t found much of it in the stock market recently. Four new daily record highs were reached last week, bringing 2019’s total to 221. The market has marched steadily higher as volatility has crept lower. Seven percent of the S&P 500’s 24%1 rise in 2019 has come in the past six weeks, reflecting growing optimism from progress in the trade war, better-than-expected third-quarter corporate earnings announcements, and incoming data signaling that the U.S. and global economies are not careening toward recession. Meanwhile, fluctuations in the stock market have been quite low, with the VIX index (a measure of short-term volatility) falling near the lowest (most tranquil) levels of the year.Read more..