• Market News | Dec 27, 2016, 9:35 AM

    Improve Your Trading, Know Thyself

    Improve Your Trading, Know Thyself

    If you have been following me for some time then you know I'm all about learning, self-improvement and advancement in trading.  Eyes wide open, ears perked up.  Those who choose to move forward and become better are those who see the opportunity to learn at every turn, be it an obstacle or a wall.  We gain knowledge from each experience good or bad, we learn about ourselves and others. How we react to situations and events is a sign of how far we have in our learning.  Trading[...]

  • VIX | 2016 Recap | Dec 23, 2016, 1:56 PM

    History Lesson - VIX at Year's End

    History Lesson - VIX at Year's End

    I have been banned from CBOE until next year due to an abundance of days off.  However, I can still play with numbers and I decided to take a look at what VIX does on average between the last trading day before Christmas and the first trading day of the following year.  This first chart takes the average action from 1990 to 2015.  I found it pretty interesting that on average VIX actually rises (18.46 to 19.87), but upon further reflection the dampening impact of holidays getting out[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Dec 22, 2016, 11:47 AM

    Holiday Volumes as DJIA Tests 20K

    Holiday Volumes as DJIA Tests 20K

    Both equities and options volumes are down dramatically as we head into year end. The S&P 500 volumes traded were down 26% Monday, 30% Tuesday and 38% Wednesday versus the prior 10 day average. Options volumes have also been hit, but not as hard. Total options traded and cleared Monday were down 16% from the prior 10 days. Volumes were down 18% Tuesday and 28% yesterday. The CBOE's VIX, the most widely followed measure of risk in the markets is down from a post election high of 23% briefly broke[...]

  • Market News | Dec 22, 2016, 9:26 AM

    Block Trade Analysis IWM Bull Put Spread

    Block Trade Analysis IWM Bull Put Spread

    While playing email catch up today I came across an interesting question.  Someone noticed that as the market was nearing the close this past Friday (12/16) someone came in and put on a sizable trade using options on the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (IWM).  With IWM at 135.90 there was a seller of 11,800 IWM Mar 17th 110 Puts for 0.48 who then purchased the IWM Mar 17th 92 Puts for 0.09 and a net credit of 0.39.  The payoff at March expiration appears below. The long 110 strike[...]

  • Cboe Benchmark Indexes | Dec 21, 2016, 11:48 AM

    BXRD Index Is Up 9% since Nov. 8 Election, as CBOE Benchmark Indexes Hit All-time Highs

    BXRD Index Is Up 9% since Nov. 8 Election, as CBOE Benchmark Indexes Hit All-time Highs

    More than fifteen CBOE strategy benchmark indexes (including BXD, BXM, BXMC, BXMD, BXMW, BXR, BXRC, BXRD, BXY, CLL, CLLR, CLLZ, CMBO, PUT, PUTR, RXM, VPD, VPN, and WPUT) hit all-time daily closing highs on December 20. BXRD INDEX As shown in the first graph and table below, the CBOE Russell 2000 30-Delta BuyWrite Index (BXRD) rose 9% since the November 8 U.S. election (through December 20). The relatively strong performance of the BXRD Index over the past five weeks possibly could be attributed[...]

  • Market News | Education | Strategy | Dec 19, 2016, 9:33 AM

    Learn Trading in Different Dimensions

    Learn Trading in Different Dimensions

    As traders and investors, we often see outcomes through the prism of win or lose. We will all have both over time, trading is not a game of perfect.The goal of course is to win more than you lose. Some measure their success where they make it into the win/loss column, and while it's true we can only grow our accounts with more wins than losses, to me it's not the only measure of success. But one of the toughest emotions to overcome is a bias toward direction, when what really needs to be examined[...]

  • Market News | Dec 18, 2016, 4:00 PM

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 12/18/2016

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 12/18/2016

    The Weekly News Roundup is your weekly recap of CBOE features, options industry news and VIX Index and volatility-related articles from print, broadcast, online and social media outlets. VIX FIX: Volatility?  Maybe Next Year As 2016 swiftly comes to an end, many investors are counting more than the days left until the New Year.  With 2017 just a couple weeks away, market participants are also watching in anticipation the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DOW) ascent toward the historical[...]

  • Market News | Dec 18, 2016, 9:58 AM

    Weekend Review Volatility Indexes and ETPs 12/12 - 12/16

    Weekend Review Volatility Indexes and ETPs 12/12 - 12/16

    I always lead off this blog with a chart showing the week over week change in the four volatility indexes based on S&P 500 Index (SPX) option pricing.  Just for the heck of it I took a look at what the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve did this time last year when we also experienced a rate hike.  On the left below is last year’s price change and on the right is what happened last week.  It is like night and day, in fact based on week over week changes in implied[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Election & VIX | 2016 Recap | Dec 17, 2016, 2:53 PM

    Weekend Review VIX Options and Futures 12/12 - 12/16

    Weekend Review VIX Options and Futures 12/12 - 12/16

    VIX was up slightly last week despite the markets having a relatively muted response to the first rate hike from the FOMC in just under a year.  The December VIX futures which expire this coming Wednesday actually dropped a bit as they had been slightly elevated relative to spot VIX.  One would never think the markets digested a rate hike last week by looking at the volatility market price action below. Wednesday last week there was a trader who decided volatility is going[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 17, 2016, 1:54 PM

    Weekend Review Russell 2000 Options and Volatility 12/12 - 12/16

    Weekend Review Russell 2000 Options and Volatility 12/12 - 12/16

    Small caps finally came under pressure last week with the Russell 2000 (RUT) down about 2% while the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI) finished basically flat on the week.  For the year RUT is still dominating up just over 20% while RUI is up a respectable 10.6% for 2016. The relative levels between the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) and VIX narrowed as RVX dropped last week and VIX rose.  Relative to most of 2016 the premium is still a bit high. Friday this past[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 16, 2016, 4:04 PM

    Panel on The Growing Role of Predictive Analytics in Investing

    Panel on The Growing Role of Predictive Analytics in Investing

    I had the pleasure of moderating a one-hour panel discussion for more than 60 attendees at CBOE on December 16 featuring these three experts: •        Joe Gits, CFA, CEO and Co-Founder - Social Market Analytics (SMA) •        Professor Koleman Strumpf, Professor of Business Economics - University of Kansas School of Business •        Dr. Wachi Bandara, Chief Research Officer – Pluribus Labs The panel[...]

  • Exploring the Rare Action in the S&P 500 Put / Call Ratio

    Exploring the Rare Action in the S&P 500 Put / Call Ratio

    Yesterday, astute market observer and Options Institute Instructor Kevin Davitt pointed out that the SPX Put Call Ratio had closed under 1.00 three days this month (Dec 7th, Dec 8th, and Dec 13th).  I knew this was a rarity, but didn’t realized how rare it was for this ratio to close below 1.00.  In fact, it has only happened sixteen times since July 2010 (which is how far back the data goes back on CBOE’s website).  Five of those sixteen occurrences happened in 2016 –[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Dec 12, 2016, 9:56 AM

    Is The Fed Still Relevant? Markets Say YES!

    Is The Fed Still Relevant?  Markets Say YES!

    While it may seem stocks have been surging higher since the election a month ago, some areas of the market have stalled out and have retreated.  The Fed will meet this week, and with markets at all time highs and broad sector rallies around each turn it appears there is not a weak spot to be found.  Many bears have started to capitulate, and while this is more a process than an event we must continue to be aware of the bogey that could halt this tremendous rally.  None other than the[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 11, 2016, 2:18 PM

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 12/11/2016

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 12/11/2016

    The Weekly News Roundup is your weekly recap of CBOE features, options industry news and VIX Index and volatility-related articles from print, broadcast, online and social media outlets. VIX FIX: The Volatility If Game    Over the past weeks, there has been myriad of “if” scenarios cited that could potentially trigger long-term volatility to re-emerge.  To-date, macro events including the Brexit vote, a surprise Trump victory in the U.S. presidential election and a consensus[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 11, 2016, 9:03 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/5 - 12/9

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/5 - 12/9

    With the continuation of the election related equity market rally comes even lower SPX option implied volatility.  The curve shifted lower across the board, but do note the angle steepens a bit between VIX and VXV with VXV representing IV into 2017. The performance table lives up to expectations after a week where the S&P 500 rose 3%.  A couple of things that are worth note.  VVIX remains at relatively high levels despite VIX being under pressure.  SKEW finished the week[...]

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