• Mar 25, 2017, 11:20 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 3/20 - 3/24

    Just when small cap stocks appeared to be making a move to narrow the gap in performance between the Russell 2000 (RUT) and the Russell 1000 (RUI) things have fallen apart with RUT losing 2.65% which places RUT slightly in the red for 2017.  RUI was under pressure as well losing 1.50%, but this index does remain in the positive by 4.50% year to date.  The spread between the Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) and VIX reached the lowest level of the year when RUT started to make a bullish[...]

  • Trader Talk | French Election | Mar 22, 2017, 6:13 PM

    Bearish SPX Spread Trade May Be Targeting French Election Volatility

    I spent the day with my academic hat on at Ohio University in Athens discussing all things VIX, SPX, and RUT along with answering some questions about the Social Media indexes that are quoted by CBOE.  There were also some questions about the French Election and the potential impact on the US markets.  I noted that VSTOXX futures have been elevated in anticipation of the French election, but that there wasn’t too much going on in the US, yet.  Yet is the key word because as I[...]

  • Mar 20, 2017, 4:29 PM

    When and When NOT to Listen to Others

    I read the other day that some experts predicted the markets were going to be in trouble and start falling if the 10 year bond rose above 2.6%.  Listen, I believe there is a technical reason here, a price channel that would be penetrated from the start of about thirty years ago - hence, a long term trend breaking.  In addition, I also heard the recent rally was phony, something like the term 'fake news' being tossed around daily.  The rally is going to fail, it's only a matter of time; [...]

  • Mar 19, 2017, 4:32 PM

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 3/19/2017

    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.      CBOE Hosts Press Briefing at FIA Conference On Wednesday, CBOE hosted a press briefing for journalists attending the 42nd annual international Futures Industry Association (FIA) Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. Chairman and CEO Ed Tilly, President and COO, Chris Concannon, CSO and[...]

  • Weekend Review of VIX Options and Futures - 3/13 - 3/17

    We got a pretty orderly shift down in the VIX curve last week as the market easily digested a rate hike by the FOMC.  Also, the March premium to spot VIX at about 0.50 is pretty narrow, however the April premium remains a bit wide based on pending events in Europe.  We have been paying attention to the VSTOXX term structure due to market concerns about the pending French election.  It appears the Dutch results pushed spot VSTOXX lower, in fact the reaction was the biggest one day[...]

  • Mar 18, 2017, 1:08 PM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 3/13 - 3/17

    Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato are walking down the street.  Moma Tomato keeps getting upset because Baby Tomato keeps falling behind.  She finally stops, walks back to Baby Tomato and squashes him.  “Catch up” she says and continued on her way.  That’s what small cap stocks did this past week, a little catch up, as the Russell 2000 (RUT) was up 1.9% last week while the Russell 1000 (RUI) gained 0.33%.  The spread for the year narrowed, but RUI is still 6.2%[...]

  • Mar 18, 2017, 10:20 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/13 - 3/17

    We got a parallel shift lower in the SPX term structure last week as the fed raised rates and lowered the risk of owning equities at the same time.  I know the fed gets a lot of criticism, but hiking rates to slow the economy a bit without having a psychologically negative impact on the financial markets seems like a group doing a pretty good job to me. The long volatility ETPs continue to have a tough 2017 while XIV and SVYX are putting up strong numbers.  As would be expected TYVIX[...]

  • Harnessing Twitter Sentiment and the Volatility Risk Premium – Events in NYC on March 28th and in Chicago on April 5th

    At the 33rd Annual CBOE Risk Management Conference in California last week, several speakers discussed ways to use sentiment analysis and the volatility risk premium in their quest to add alpha and enhance the risk-adjusted returns of their portfolios. I am pleased to report that two upcoming events will provide more details and analysis of the topics of developing investable and actionable intelligence from analysis of sentiment trends on social media, and generating attractive risk-adjusted returns[...]

  • Mar 14, 2017, 6:14 PM

    First Quarter VIX Range and Average Near Record Lows, But Will It Last?

    As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2017 all the talk about VIX has been how quiet VIX has been.  I ran some numbers today and discovered that the high to low range for VIX during the current quarter, using closing prices, is 2.34.  This is by far the narrowest quarterly range for VIX on record.  The current narrowest quarter occurred in the third quarter of 1995 with a range of 2.68.  VIX either needs to close over 13.26 or under 10.24 (or a combination of widening[...]

  • Mar 13, 2017, 9:21 AM

    The Impact of Low Volatility

    The volatility index, or VIX once again closed under 12% last Friday.  It has hovered in the range of 10-13% for the entire year of 2017, and really collapsed following the Presidential election, from a high in the low twenties.  That seems eons ago, right?  And with this low volatility comes frustration for those sitting on the sidelines waiting to get involved with the stock market.  Volatility is compressed right now, but of course that will change at some point, but we'll[...]

  • Mar 12, 2017, 2:05 PM

    The Weekly Options News Roundup – 3/12/2017

    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.      CBOE RMC U.S. Wrap-UP The 33rd annual CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) wrapped up another successful year. Over 300 financial professionals gathered in Dana Point, California to discuss the latest trends in equity derivatives, options and volatility trading, and risk management[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 12, 2017, 2:04 PM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/6 - 3/10

    The short end of the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve moved up while the longer end hardly budged.  TYVIX is at 2017 lows going into FOMC week, but it appears equity volatility may be pricing in some uncertainty in front of this week’s Fed decision.  Needless to say and already mentioned, VXST is the big attention getter on the table below with a 24% gain last week.  The Ten-Year futures dropped more in front of higher rates, but note that TYVIX, which closed[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 12, 2017, 11:40 AM

    Weekend Review of VIX Options and Futures - 3/6 - 3/10

    VIX was higher and all VIX futures were lower last week.  We have been in a pretty steep state of contango which flattened a bit.  However, there are expectations that April will remain elevated due to market conditions in Europe.  This will be explained a little more below. The VSTOXX term structure appears below and note the elevated April futures contract price relative to the spot index (it’s impossible to miss).  This shape has been around for a while now and we’ll[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 12, 2017, 10:47 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 3/6 - 3/10

    Last week small cap stocks took it on the chin with the Russell 2000 (RUT) dropping about 2.5% while the Russell 1000 (RUI) actually gained about 0.7%.  The divergence between the two widened to over 5% with RUI in the lead for 2017.  VIX gained a bit last week which narrowed the gap between the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) and VIX to around 40%.  This is low by 2017 standards, but still pretty high relative to the long-term history of these two indexes.  The[...]

  • Mar 10, 2017, 8:42 PM

    CBOE RMC Presentation: US Dispersion in a Changing Rate Environment

    Eric Rains from BlueMountain Capital and Stewart Warther from BNP Paribas split duties for a session titled US Dispersion:  Stocks, Sectors, and Index and a Changing Rate Environment.  As many of the sessions this week referred to the imminent rate hike next week the attendance for this session was quite high.   Both participants split duties on a single presentation.  They gave an overview of recent price action noting that rate sensitivity has become a more important factor[...]