• VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Nov 4, 2017, 11:16 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/30/2017 - 11/3/2017

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/30/2017 - 11/3/2017

    The Russell 2000 (RUT) had a tough week, losing almost 1% while the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI) managed to rise by 0.26%.  The outperformance of large versus small caps was threatened toward the end of the third quarter, but RUI is up 2.65% versus only a 0.27% rise for RUT in the fourth quarter. Due to very low VIX and a rise in the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) last week, the RVX / VIX relationship finished the week with RVX at over a 60% premium to VIX.  This happened[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Nov 4, 2017, 11:10 AM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/30/2017 - 11/3/2017

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/30/2017 - 11/3/2017

    VIX finished the week on an all-time closing low level.  However, despite the dramatic drop last week, only the November VIX future was lower while the rest of the contracts were higher for the week.  It may be that traders are expecting the low volatility environment to be coming to an end.    On Wednesday, a trader took a stance that VIX is going to remain at low levels, but higher than the recently very low readings.  With VIX around 9.90 and the November future trading[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Nov 4, 2017, 7:14 AM

    VIX Index Hits 9.14, its All-Time Daily Closing Low Value

    VIX Index Hits 9.14, its All-Time Daily Closing Low Value

    On November 3 the Cboe Volatility Index® (VIX®) closed at 9.14, an all-time record low for both a daily and weekly closing value for the index. While the news media often focuses on the spot VIX Index, volatility traders analyze the price movements of VIX futures. The prices for VIX futures at the close on November 3 ranged from 10.1 to 16.4. Investors can learn more about use of VIX futures and options at www.cboe.com/VIX and at upcoming Cboe Risk Management Conferences – [...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Cboe Benchmark Indexes | Nov 2, 2017, 4:14 PM

    Historic Volatility Recently Dropped Below 1.7 for Eight Cboe Benchmark Indexes

    Historic Volatility Recently Dropped Below 1.7 for Eight Cboe Benchmark Indexes

    In times of geopolitical uncertainties, many investors are searching for investments with low volatility and higher yields. Several news stories have noted that stock indexes recently had low volatility. On October 18 the 20-trading-day historic volatility for the S&P 500 (SPX) Index dropped to 3.4, its lowest level since 1969 (source: Bloomberg). There now is concern that with higher price-earnings ratios, the volatility of stock indexes could spike in coming months. EVEN LOWER HISTORIC VOLATILITY[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 29, 2017, 1:32 PM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    Of the four volatility indexes based on SPX option pricing, only VIX was lower last week.  This is the second week where the longer dated indexes (VIX3M and VXMT) rose while VIX was lower. Despite VIX dropping the long ETPs gained ground last week.  This is a great lesson in what these products give you, exposure to VIX futures and both the November and December contracts rose slightly despite the drop in VIX.  Of note on the table below is the majority of green lines versus reddish[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 29, 2017, 1:29 PM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    VIX finished the week lower, but notice the change for the standard first, second, and third month futures which was green for the week.  VIX may have dropped at the end of the week, but the VIX futures are acting like the volatility players are not expecting the move lower to hold. One trader took advantage of the volatility strength on Wednesday to get short volatility using Weeklys futures.  With VIX around 12.90 and the Nov 8th Future at 13.00 there was a small buyer of the VIX Nov[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 29, 2017, 1:27 PM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/23/2017 - 10/27/2017

    Large cap stocks continue to dominate small caps this past week as the Russell 1000 gained 0.20% while the Russell 2000 was down 0.06%.  I guess dominate is a pretty strong word when referring to last week, but for the year RUI is up 15.20% while RUT is up 11.14%, the term works better when comparing 2017 year to date performance. VIX gave up some ground on a week over week basis while the Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) was higher.  The result is the RVX / VIX relationship up to[...]

  • VIX | Oct 25, 2017, 11:34 AM

    Chicago Panel Discusses Current Dynamics of the VIX® Market

    Chicago Panel Discusses Current Dynamics of the VIX® Market

    I recently participated in VIX roadshow panel discussions in Boston, New York, and Chicago. Last week at Cboe I moderated a discussion of the Current Dynamics of the VIX® Market that featured these four expert panelists: Anand Omprakash, Director, Equity Derivatives Strategy and Structuring, BNP Paribas Dominic Salvino, VIX Option Specialist, Group One LLC Rich Ledee, CFA, Head of Capital Markets, ProShares Joanne M. Hill, PhD, Chief Advisor for Research and Strategy, CBOE[...]

  • Oct 23, 2017, 2:19 PM

    Record Volume for Mini-SPX XSP Options at Cboe

    Record Volume for Mini-SPX XSP Options at Cboe

    In recent years many investors have expressed interest in more flexibility for index options in terms of both contract size and and more expirations. So far this month (through October 20) Cboe’s options on the Mini-SPX Index (ticker XSP) have had average daily volume of more than 30,800 contracts. XSP options are on track to set an all-time record for average daily volume in a month (the previous high for average daily volume in a month was around 23,760 contracts) XSP VOLATILITY SKEW CHART The[...]

  • Oct 23, 2017, 8:47 AM

    Volatility: VIX Shows As Much Greed as it Does Fear

    Volatility:  VIX Shows As Much Greed as it Does Fear

    Many call the VIX (volatility index) the 'fear gauge', but it is just as good at measuring greed.  For years the VIX has been in a solid downtrend, this can be tracked from the peak in 2008 when the fear gauge reached the 90's.  This indicator, created by Bob Whaley in the early 1990's had never reached that level, but some back-testing probably put the VIX at 150 during the crash in 1987 (this past week was the 30th anniversary of this 'momentous' event). So, when the VIX is in a solid[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 22, 2017, 9:24 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    The short term volatility indexes (VXST and VIX) were up a bit last week as the S&P 500 set multiple all-time closing record highs last week.  VIX3M (formerly VXV) and VXMT were both up slightly resulting the rare ‘term-structure twist’.  It’s really not that rare, I just had a nature documentary voice in my head as I typed that.  The table below has few surprises (beyond VXST and VIX higher).  TYVIX heading to higher levels is a bit of a head scratcher[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 22, 2017, 9:20 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    Small caps continue to lag as the Russell 2000 (RUT) was up 0.46% last week while the Russell 1000 (RUI) gained 0.87%.  The RUT was making quite a run in the end of the third quarter, but that move has come to an abrupt halt with RUI up about 1% more than RUT in October.  Small cap bulls (or relative bulls) make have a little hope from what shows up in the chart below.  Despite the RUT underperformance, RVX dropped relative to VIX last week.  We saw similar price action in response[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 21, 2017, 1:17 PM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/16/2017 - 10/20/2017

    VIX was higher last week, despite the S&P 500 hitting a record high for five days in a row.  At low levels this sort of divergence between VIX and the S&P 500 isn’t usually much of a big deal.  But I wonder if there may be more significance since VIX under 10 has become a bit more of a norm.  I love going through time and sale to see what sort of trading has been going on in VIX options and it’s a bonus when I find a trade structure that’s uncommon. [...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 18, 2017, 7:57 PM

    Block Trade Analysis - VIX Ratio Risk Reversal

    Block Trade Analysis - VIX Ratio Risk Reversal

    Today when I was searching for trades to discuss on Volatility 411 I came across a pretty interesting one that was structured a little different than the normal risk reversal.  With VIX around 10.18 and the November futures at 11.65 someone came in and sold 1500 VIX Nov 12 Puts for 1.37 and purchased 3000 VIX Nov 15 Calls for 0.59 and a net credit of 0.19.  The payoff below assumes the trade is held to expiration, but if there is some sort of volatility event between now and then I[...]

  • Oct 17, 2017, 12:41 PM

    Ten Charts Show Strong Growth for Cboe Index Products in 2017

    Ten Charts Show Strong Growth for Cboe Index Products in 2017

    An October 17 press release introduced a new corporate name -- Cboe Global Markets -- that “builds on the brand capital of CBOE and the global reach of the Bats business. In Cboe Global Markets, the word ‘Cboe’ is titlecase vs. uppercase … This subtle change signals how the company has greatly expanded beyond its options heritage to a business with multiple asset classes and a much larger global footprint.” Below is an update with ten charts that show growth in 2017[...]