NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The summer is coming to an end, which means we are on the last leg of light trading volumes and uncertainty over monetary policy. As close as we are to the end, we are not in the clear just yet. The Federal Reserve meetings don't start for another few weeks, which means investors are left filling the information void by trading on perception rather than hard facts. The lack of clarity has pushed volatility higher and led to a multiweek downturn in U.S. equities. The SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY - Get Report) seen below shows a break lower after consolidation at record highs, but the market has since stabilized. Lighter volumes will continue to exaggerate price swings, and with both durable goods and Gross Domestic Product numbers out this week, extreme readings in either direction could cause large moves to the downside.
VXX) The VIX sits at elevated levels, but it still looks to have room for a move higher if markets react negatively to economic data this week. Expect volatility to continue in an upward trend.
The last chart is of PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking ( DBC - Get Report). This commodities basket carries the most weight in energy and precious metals. Oil has seen a steep rise as geopolitical tension in North Africa quickly elevated the past few weeks. The premium tied to this has been a major reason for the large move in price.
A stronger dollar could push the index lower, but if that is accompanied by falling equity markets and continued strife in North Africa, it is uncertain where the index will go. Keep an eye on this commodities basket over the next few weeks to gauge how investors integrate the new outlook on monetary policy and their feelings on commodity market strength. At the time of publication, Sachais had no positions in securities mentioned. Follow @AndrewSachais This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.