Rhoads-Russell

Russell Rhoads, CFA

Russell Rhoads, CFA, is Director of Education for the CBOE Options Institute. His career before 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 for the CBOE, he is an adjunct instructor at Loyola University and the University of Illinois - Chicago. 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 of December 2017.

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Feb 17, 2016, 3:43 PM

    VIX Front Month - Second Month Backwardation Streak Ends at 30 - So Now What???

    VIX Front Month - Second Month Backwardation Streak Ends at 30 - So Now What???

    For the first time in 2016 the front month VIX future closed at a discount to the second month.  This brings the recent streak of backwardation to an end at 30 days.  The table below shows the 10 longest first month versus second month backwardation streaks with the recent run coming in a solid fourth place. So now what?  Anyone’s guess is as good as anyone else’s, but I did some quick historical analysis.  The table below shows the 30, 90, 125, and 250[...]

  • Is VIX Approaching a Death Cross?

    Is VIX Approaching a Death Cross?

    I began my week updating charts and tables as I am heading to Tampa, FL to speak on options and then I’m off to Trader’s Expo in New York to deliver a couple of presentations.  The chart below, depicting the rolling 1 year and 5 year average closing prices for VIX is a favorite of mine.  I consider it a good depiction of the equity market shifting from a low to high volatility regime as the 1 year average approaches the 5 year average.  However, I noticed today that the[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Feb 14, 2016, 1:07 PM

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/8 - 2/12

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/8 - 2/12

    Three out of the four S&P 500 volatility oriented indexes were higher last week.  The shortest dated one, VXST, dropped a little.  We attribute this to the three day weekend impact that puts pressure on VXST, but also usually results in VXST rising the day after a holiday weekend.  For example on Friday VXST dropped 17% while VIX was down 9.74%.  I guess what I’m getting at here is that we should focus on the longer dated volatility indexes on the chart below to get[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Feb 14, 2016, 7:30 AM

    Weekly Review - VIX Options and Futures - 2/8 - 2/12

    Weekly Review - VIX Options and Futures - 2/8 - 2/12

    I had to double check the numbers when I looked at the closing curve this week as I had forgotten this was a holiday shortened week.  For those new to VIX, the calculation is based on calendar days and there is usually a small weekend impact which is exacerbated by three day weekends.  The futures anticipate this and don’t follow VIX to the downside.  In addition to the long weekend, there is a lack of big economic numbers or new scheduled for Tuesday which also may have had[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Feb 12, 2016, 6:42 PM

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility

    The pain continues for the Russell 2000 (RUT) in 2016 on both and absolute and relative basis.  For the year RUT is down over 14% while the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI) is only down about 9%.  The gap widened a bit this past week as RUI was down 1.00% and RUT lost 1.38%. Last year, when the market got into a real panic mode, VIX climbed to higher levels that the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX).  Despite the weakness in stocks this year RVX has maintained[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 11, 2016, 12:26 PM

    Earnings Next Week 2/15 - 2/19

    Earnings Next Week 2/15 - 2/19

    We have a holiday shortened week and earnings season is approaching the end of the heavy period, but there are plenty of companies left to report.  Thirty six companies with short dated options available for trading release numbers next week.  The numbers below represent three years of history with a couple of exceptions which have not been around long enough to provide a full three years of history.  In those cases the data appears in italics.   After the ticker the columns show[...]

  • Education | Feb 10, 2016, 2:00 PM

    College Day Returns to CBOE

    College Day Returns to CBOE

    Due to popular demand the CBOE Options Institute is bringing back one of our most popular programs.  On March 8, 15, and 22 we will host college students from all over the country for a day of learning about the derivatives industry.  College Day includes a visit to the trading floor and an after-hours mock trading event.  During the day college students will learn more about the different career paths available in the trading industry.  For more information you can click on www.cboe.com/collegeday[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Feb 7, 2016, 12:15 PM

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 2/1 - 2/5

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 2/1 - 2/5

    Friday provided our first glimpse into how the economy was faring in January and the stock market apparently didn’t like what it saw.  VIX finished the day up 7% which was just under half the over 15% rise we got last week.  The February future managed an 11% gain to finish higher than spot VIX.  However, backwardation is still in place with the February contract higher than the March contract.  More on this after the chart and table below. I’ve been obsessively[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Feb 6, 2016, 3:50 PM

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/1 - 2/5

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/1 - 2/5

    VIX rose last week as did the rest of the volatility indexes that based their levels on S&P 500 Index (SPX) option pricing.  Usually in times of panic VXST (9-day volatility) rises above VIX (30-day volatility), but that was not the case this past week.  You can read this two ways – traders think stocks will rebound or traders are mentally prepared for more downside in the market.  I’m leaning toward the latter. I decided to leave the year to date numbers[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Feb 6, 2016, 9:38 AM

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Index and Options - 2/1 - 2/5

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Index and Options - 2/1 - 2/5

    Small cap stocks continue to take it on the chin as the Russell 2000 (RUT) dropped almost 5% (4.81% for the quants) last week while the Russell 1000 (RUI) was down 3.16%.  I love how I am conditioned to a 3% drop in a broad based index feeling kind of normal.  My how times have changed. In times of panic the implied volatility of S&P 500 (SPX) options often elevates compared to the implied volatility of RUT index options.  That has not been the case in 2016 and in fact VIX closed[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 4, 2016, 6:09 PM

    Block Trade Analysis - Bearish SPX Trade in Front of Employment Report

    Block Trade Analysis - Bearish SPX Trade in Front of Employment Report

    Tomorrow we get the first look at how the economy fared in January.  This insight comes with the release of the January Non-Farm Payrolls number.  I went searching for a trade or two executed late Thursday that may indicate a bullish or bearish market outlook in front of the number. I didn’t have to look too much to find an interesting trade..  Just before the SPX option market closed at 3:15 pm Chicago time there was a buyer of about 500 SPX Feb 26th 1920 Puts at 41.70. [...]

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 4, 2016, 5:03 PM

    Earnings Next Week - 2/8 - 2/12

    Earnings Next Week - 2/8 - 2/12

    Earnings season is approaching the end of the heavy period, but there are plenty of companies left to report.  The numbers below represent three years of history with a couple of exceptions which have not been around long enough to provide a full three years of history.  In those cases the data appears in italics.   After the ticker the columns show the biggest gain, biggest drop, average move (non-directional) and stock price reaction last quarter.

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Jan 31, 2016, 4:48 AM

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options - 1/25 - 1/29

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options - 1/25 - 1/29

    The VIX term structure is approaching contango which many VIX watchers will consider a green light for the equity markets, but the February contract stubbornly remains elevated relative to the March contract.  Although on Friday this premium was down to 0.30.  My feeling is February may stay up a bit until we get the employment number behind us this coming Friday.  At that point I guess VIX will be just like the Fed (data dependent). The shorter term curve flattened out[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Jan 30, 2016, 4:20 PM

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/25 - 1/29

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/25 - 1/29

    The equity market came to life last week and avoided what could have been the worst January in most of our lifetimes for stocks.  In response the four volatility indexes that are based on SPX option pricing were lower, but all four are also well above where they were to end 2015. I included a year-to-date performance column in this week’s table.  A big part of the motivation was to show the stellar performance of VXX and UVXY (along with the comparable funds) for 2016. [...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Jan 30, 2016, 11:00 AM

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 1/25 - 1/29

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 1/25 - 1/29

    The Russell 1000 (RUI) and Russell 2000 (RUT) both put up a respectable week.  However despite the positive week, RUT finished January down 8.85% while RUI was down 5.49%. In an interesting twist, RVX climbed to what is considered a normal premium to VIX last week.  As VIX moved lower, RVX did as well, but not as rapidly.  The result is an RVX to VIX premium of around 20% which is close to the average for the past few years. At least one trader is bullish on small caps[...]