Rhoads-Russell

Russell Rhoads, CFA

Russell Rhoads, CFA, is Director, Product Advancement, Global Derivatives at Cboe Global Markets. His career before joining Cboe included positions at a variety of firms including Highland Capital Management, Caldwell & Orkin Investment Counsel, Balyasny Asset Management, and Millennium Management. He is a financial author and editor having contributed to multiple magazines and edited several books for Wiley publishing. He is the author of six market related books including Trading VIX Derivatives, Option Spread Trading, Trading Weekly Options, and Options Strategies for Advisors and Institutions. He authored material to be included in Level II of the CFA program and material for the CMT designation. In addition to his duties at Cboe, he is an adjunct instructor at Loyola University. He is a double graduate of the University of Memphis with a BBA ('92) and an MS ('94) in Finance and also received a Master's Certificate in Financial Engineering from the Illinois Tech in 2003. Russell is currently pursuing a PhD from Oklahoma State University with an expected graduation date in the Summer of 2018.

  • 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 | 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[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Oct 16, 2017, 12:21 PM

    Some Perspective on High VIX Non-Commercial Short Interest

    Some Perspective on High VIX Non-Commercial Short Interest

    This morning, as I perused my twitter feed that is dedicated to VIX I came across two tweets highlighting the chart below.  Basically, these tweets were noting the high absolute level of Non-Commercial VIX futures short interest that appeared in the CFTC Commitment of Traders (COT) report from last week.  The net position for Non-Commercial VIX futures traders was -174,665, an all-time low.  This figure has some VIX commentators noting a rise in VIX and VIX futures may cause some panicked[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 15, 2017, 9:15 AM

    Weekend Review of VIX Options and Futures - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    Weekend Review of VIX Options and Futures - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    On a week over week basis VIX hardly budged, but we did have a couple of days with closes over 10.00 both Monday and Tuesday.  In fact, we would have had a double digit VIX highs each day if it weren’t for Friday’s price action falling short by 0.02.  The curve moved lower than VIX as October played catch up with VIX going into this week’s settlement.  Worth noting is the volatility of VIX options.  Specifically, the level of VVIX, which ticked higher last[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Oct 14, 2017, 11:45 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    There are lots of articles floating around discussing the lack of volatility in the markets along with the low level of VIX.  It’s reaching a point where we don’t have much else to say and are just waiting for a change of scenery.  With all that going on, the four volatility indexes based on SPX option pricing remained low and on average were basically unchanged last week.  There is a single data point standing out on the table below.  That is VVIX in the upper 90’s. [...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 14, 2017, 11:40 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/9/2017 - 10/13/2017

    The recent dominance of small cap stocks came to an end as the Russell 2000 (RUT) dropped just over 0.5% while the Russell 1000 (RUI) gained 0.13%.  That places RUI at a performance advantage of just over 3.25% for 2017.  The volatility indexes based on large cap (VIX) and small cap indexes (Russell 2000 Volatility Index – RVX) reflect the extra risk that showed up in the underperformance of RUT.  Note the spike down in mid-September on the chart below that was followed[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Oct 11, 2017, 8:21 PM

    Why Shouldn't Market Volatility Be Low?

    Why Shouldn't Market Volatility Be Low?

    Richard Thaler has been doing the media circuit since being announced as the winner of this year’s Sveriges Riksbank Prize in memory of Alfred Nobel (which we all know as the Nobel Prize in Economics).  I heard him reiterate something he said at the CFA Conference in Philadelphia about market volatility.  Basically, he’s surprised stock market volatility is low as well as perplexed by the low level of VIX.  My thought is, “Why wouldn’t stock market volatility[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 7, 2017, 11:15 AM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    Despite closing at an all-time low on Thursday and the S&P 500 gaining over 1% last week, VIX was slightly higher when the dust settled Friday.  The same cannot be said for the VIX futures curve where all contracts lost value last week.  It should be noted that despite the low level (or because of the low level of VIX), VVIX close just shy of 100 last week.  VIX Weeklys continue to become a bigger part of the VIX story with non-standard expirations continuing to experience volume[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 7, 2017, 10:41 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    The VXST – VIX – VIXM3 – VXMT curve was mixed with VIX rising but the other three S&P 500 related volatility indexes lower on the week. On the summary table, SKEW and VVIX stand out as indications that risk is lurking around the markets.  As a perspective, we have SKEW data going back to 1990 and Friday’s close places the index higher than 99.11% of all observations.  The long-term average (going back to 2007) for VVIX is 87.71, which places Friday’s[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 7, 2017, 9:40 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 10/2/2017 - 10/6/2017

    Both the Russell 2000 (RUT) and Russell 1000 (RUI) had a solid week with both rising about 1.3%.  Small caps still lag large cap stocks, but since the summer RUT has been slowly chipping away at the lead held but the Russell 1000. After a dip to the lowest levels in 2017, which was then followed by a couple of weeks of small cap outperformance, the relationship between the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility index (RVX) and VIX has returned to the elevated levels that have been common this year. [...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Oct 6, 2017, 10:08 AM

    Fed Survey on Firm Uses of Equity Volatility

    Fed Survey on Firm Uses of Equity Volatility

    Every three months the Federal Reserve conducts a survey titled, “The Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey on Dealer Financing Terms”.  This report comes in summary form as well as specific responses to 79 questions that are asked each quarter.  Periodically there are some extra questions placed at the end of the survey, needless to say the academic in me got pretty excited when I saw questions 81 through 89 were titled Special Questions on Client Trading in Equity Volatility[...]