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Kevin Davitt

Kevin Davitt is a Senior Instructor for The Options Institute at Cboe, the educational arm of the Company. Davitt joined Cboe in 2015. Prior to his work with The Options Institute, Davitt was a successful Market Maker on the floor of the Cboe for LETCO Trading/TD Options as well as Market Street Securities. Davitt traded a number of Russell Indices between 2003 and 2007. Kevin also has extensive experience in commodity trading. He has worked with retail and institutional clientele in the markets. Davitt has provided commentary for Bloomberg, Reuters, Barchart, Inside Futures and various other market based media. He is a graduate of Marquette University (Finance and Political Science). Kevin is a proud Evans Scholar Alum. Outside of work he enjoys time with his wife, young son, and dog. Kevin likes to read, run, and see live music.

  • Feb 11, 2020, 9:09 AM

    Inside Volatility Trading: February 11, 2020

    Inside Volatility Trading: February 11, 2020

    Everyone Has a Plan Until… Thirty years ago (February 11, 1990) Buster Douglas shocked the world when he knocked out Mike Tyson in the 10th round of their Tokyo bout. Tyson came into the fight as the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He had 37 wins, 0 losses and had never been knocked down. Douglas had lost his previous fight, his mother had passed away three weeks prior, and was listed as a 42:1 longshot. Mike Tyson had an air of invincibility and arguably underestimated[...]

  • Jan 28, 2020, 10:42 AM

    Inside Volatility Trading: January 28, 2020

    Inside Volatility Trading: January 28, 2020

    "What — Me, Worry?" On the December 1956 cover of Mad Magazine, Alfred E. Neuman made the first of his many appearances as a write-in candidate for President of the United States. As one of the longest running satirical publications in US history, the writers of Mad Magazine both parodied and captured the omnipresent state of uncertainty. In capital markets, some degree of worry is inevitable. Market practitioners and talking heads often reference the "wall of worry" that equity and fixed[...]

  • Jan 15, 2020, 9:44 AM

    Inside Volatility Trading: January 15, 2020

    Inside Volatility Trading: January 15, 2020

    Not All Tenors Behave the Same As the holiday season draws to a close, I am reminded of the music of my childhood. When we put up holiday decorations my mom would invariably play The Three Tenors Christmas on an antiquated cassette player. I can still hear Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and Jose Carreras singing Silent Night or Happy Christmas (War is Over) in my mind. They were the only “tenors” I knew until I started working on the Cboe. In finance, tenor has a different[...]

  • Dec 10, 2019, 2:39 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: December 10, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: December 10, 2019

    A December (&Year) To Remember "It’s (supposedly) the most wonderful time of the year With the S&P 500® up about 25% (YTD as of 12/6/2019) And Trudeau caught on hot mics It’s the most wonderful time of the year It’s the hap-happiest season of all With those holiday greetings (you're not spending 2%) and the happy (Doral>Camp David) meetings When G7/NATO "friends" may come to call It’s the hap-happiest season of all There’ll be judicial hearings for[...]

  • Nov 26, 2019, 2:26 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: November 26, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: November 26, 2019

    Four Centuries of Thanksgiving (And a Side of Volatility) Arguably the finest American holiday is upon us. Our Day of Thanksgiving traces its roots to the earliest Puritan settlers in the New World. The religious separatists who sailed across the Atlantic in the autumn of 1620 were greeted by an especially cruel winter during which half the colonists perished. In the Spring of 1621, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe, is said to have taught the struggling settlers how to grow corn, catch native[...]

  • Nov 12, 2019, 1:25 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: November 12, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: November 12, 2019

    Volatility: It Just Is From a capital markets "meta" standpoint, volatility just is. Volatility is a nondirectional, statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or index. It’s neither good nor bad. From an interpersonal and psychological standpoint, volatility typically connotes something very different than a rote calculation. Few people wake up looking forward to "volatility" in their day-to-day lives, but uncertainty is a constant whether you invest or not. Volatility[...]

  • Oct 30, 2019, 1:32 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: October 30, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: October 30, 2019

    Death, Taxes and VRP? Not So Fast! Shortly after the U.S. Constitution was ratified (June 1788) and months before Benjamin Franklin passed away (April 1790), he wrote a letter saying, "Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Others have attributed the idiom to Christopher Bullock and/or Daniel Defoe, but in this context, it’s important that none of them mentioned volatility[...]

  • Sep 20, 2019, 3:59 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: September 18, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: September 18, 2019

    The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is... Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1933 Inaugural Address is an unassailable masterpiece of optimism. With the unemployment rate hovering around 23.5% and GDP declining by 12.9% year over year, FDR delivered an incandescent speech that inspired hope during the worst of the Depression. By comparison, our current concerns seem downright pedestrian. At the moment, some of the things investors and traders have to fear include: Inverted Yield Curve Trade[...]

  • Sep 4, 2019, 3:18 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: September 4, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: September 4, 2019

    If You Plant Ice, You’re Gonna Harvest Wind The trade war between the leaders of the two largest economies in the world continues to percolate; so too has volatility. Based on historical data, volatility as measured by intraday S&P 500 ranges tends to come in bunches. U.S. farmers, who have been the primary target for the Chinese in their efforts to counter the Trump Administration’s tariffs, have experienced volatility of their own. According to the American Farm Bureau, American[...]

  • Aug 20, 2019, 2:16 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: August 20, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: August 20, 2019

    We Were Certainly Uncertain Ronald Reagan used to joke that if Trivial Pursuit were designed by economists, “it would have 100 questions and 3,000 answers.” In a similar vein, acerbic investors often point out that economists have “accurately predicted all 21 of the last 4 recessions.” Well, everyone from tenured econ professors to armchair economists have been ruminating on last week’s inversion of the U.S. yield curve. On Wednesday, August 14, the yield on 2-year[...]

  • Aug 6, 2019, 1:13 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: August 6, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: August 6, 2019

    Powell & Trump Stir the Winds of Change “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” —William Arthur Ward The previous two Inside Volatility Newsletters shone a light on relatively low levels of implied volatility for 1-month VIX options as well as muted historical volatility for the S&P 500® Index (SPX). The confluence of these types of vol events could portend a potential shift in sentiment. At the very[...]

  • Jul 24, 2019, 3:16 PM

    Inside Volatility Trading: July 24, 2019

    Inside Volatility Trading: July 24, 2019

    Danger, I’ve Been Told to Expect It By most (short-dated) measures, SPX historical volatility is quite low. The SPX 10- and 30-day historical vol measures are 6% and 7.4%, respectively. The only other recent corollaries in terms of market calm are May 2, 2019 (SPX 30-day 7.4%) and October 9, 2018 (SPX 30-day 6.1%). In both recent instances, there was a fairly significant pullback that followed. On May 1, 2019, the SPX made another new all-time high. Between the highs on May 1 and the intraday[...]

  • Jun 25, 2019, 9:08 AM

    Worth Watching: What Matters in the Week Ahead as June Comes to a Close

    Worth Watching: What Matters in the Week Ahead as June Comes to a Close

    With so much going on in the world, it’s hard to know what deserves your attention, so we narrowed it down for you. Here’s what we’re watching this week and why it matters. From the events that have market-moving potential to the indexes that will give you a glimpse into what’s on everyone’s mind, here’s what you need to know as we end June. Interest Rates in the U.S. and Globally On the heels of the most recent Fed Meeting – as well as comments from Mario[...]

  • Aug 11, 2017, 8:12 AM

    Volatility Takes the Stairs Down and the Elevator Up

    Volatility Takes the Stairs Down and the Elevator Up

    There are countless market/trader sayings that get bandied about depending on the macro environment (and perhaps your position). For example, who hasn’t heard? Trying to catch a falling knife The trend is your friend Dead-cat bounce Picking up pennies (used to be 1/8ths) in front of a steamroller In the options world, one truism that was likely overheard on trading desks yesterday: “volatility takes the stairs down and the elevator up”. Of late, there’s[...]

  • Earnings | Jul 31, 2017, 3:22 PM

    Under Armour Call Skewed Into Earnings

    Under Armour Call Skewed Into Earnings

    Other trades of note: ViewRay, Inc. (VRAY) at 4.61, a 1x2 Ratio Spread traded. The trader bought 900 Sept 15th 5 Calls for .50 and sold 1,800 Sept 15th 7.50 Calls at .05. They paid .40 for the package. iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) at 141.38, a Bear Put Spread traded 15,000 times. The trader bought the Aug 4th 141/138 spread paying .53. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) at 79.87, a Bull Call Spread traded 1,000 times. The trader bought the Aug 4th 80/80.50 spread paying .22. XOM reported earnings[...]