The market’s hottest stocks – including many in the technology sector – have been stumbling for a few days. But they’re trying to stabilize in the early going. As for other assets, Treasuries, gold and silver were trading around the flatline, while crude oil was down a bit along with the dollar.

On the news front…

We’ve seen market leaders like NVIDIA (NVDA) and Tesla (TSLA) give back some of their gains recently. But we haven’t seen a big spike in volatility. Or at least that’s what most investors think when they look at the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX.

Yet the Wall Street Journal suggests more might be going on under the surface. Manic trading in call options on high-momentum Artificial Intelligence stocks, as well as small caps, could set the table for trouble later. Plus, call options that would pay off if there was a big spike in the VIX itself are a sign many think we’ll see a market swoon – and corresponding volatility spike – later.

While I was out of the office for a couple days of vacation, there was a coup attempt in Russia. Or mutiny. Or...SOMETHING. But many observers of the Wagner Group/Yevgeny Prigozhin/President Vladimir Putin/Russian military fracas over the last few days are still trying to figure out what happened, what the point was, and what the ramifications will be.

Meanwhile, Putin has gone on television a couple of times to attempt to re-assert his control over the nation. Prigozhin is MIA, even as the deal that was reached is supposed to have him resettle in Belarus.

Finally, the accounting giant KPMG is joining other large companies in culling its workforce as the economy slows. The company will lay off about 5% of its 39,000-strong workforce. Ford (F) is also in the process of shedding a few thousand workers, while Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and 3M (MMM) previously said they’d do the same.