Monday,  stocks moved little in Asia, fell slightly in Europe, and rose 0.8% on low volume in the U.S. The VXO plummeted 18% to close at 13.11 for no particular reason. Tuesday, stocks fell in Asia 0.4%, rose in Europe 0.3%, and dropped 1% in the U.S. on low volume. The VXO ramped up 14% to close at 15.42.

Wednesday, stocks fell 0.7% in Asia and 0.8% in Europe, but in the U.S. they went virtually nowhere on low volume. Gold did pop and hold above the $1300 per ounce level. Precious metals rose 1%, and their miners rose about twice that amount, but silver dropped below the $20 per ounce mark.

Thursday, stocks fell slightly in Asia, 0.7% in Europe, and 0.7% in the U.S. on low volume. The S&P 500 Index flirted with breaking below the 1900 level to a mark not seen since May. Friday, stocks fell hard in Asia — down 1.4%. In Europe, they also fell but more modestly at 0.7%. The U.S. bucked the trend to send stocks rising 1%  on low volume and rescue them from a negative week in the final hours of trading.