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 | Futures | Feb 2, 2015, 3:20 PM

    Checking in on Oil Volatility

    Checking in on Oil Volatility

    Oil was the headline grabbing market for the last few months of 2014. For months the price of oil has continued to violate any sort of support levels that technical analysts can come up with. January’s average OVX close was just over 55. This was the highest average for a month since the tail end of the Great Financial Crisis in April 2009. The chart below shows the average daily close by month for OVX since mid-2007 through January 2015. The thing is, Oil has sort of vanished from the headlines.[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Feb 1, 2015, 11:52 AM

    Dissecting VIX Volume Trends

    Dissecting VIX Volume Trends

    I was lucky enough to join The Options Institute at the Chicago Board Options Exchange in April 2009. This has been a wonderful place to work as each day is different and almost every day I learn something new. Back in high school, a discipline heavy all-boys school, the head football coach was my homeroom teacher for freshman year. Coach Nix would send us off with the same words each day, “If you learn one new thing each day this year you will know a lot of new things at the end of the year.”[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Feb 1, 2015, 7:20 AM

    The Week in VIX - 1/26 - 1/30

    The Week in VIX - 1/26 - 1/30

    The stock market continues to be jittery with the S&P 500 dropping almost 3% last week.  This price action resulted in a 25% move higher in VIX. I was in the classroom most of Friday so I wasn’t as focused as I would like to have been on the intraday price action. I was pretty surprised to see the February future settle at a premium to the index. With VIX over 20 we would expect at least a little backwardation. I could understand the shape of the curve below if February settlement[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 31, 2015, 12:12 PM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/26 - 1/30

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/26 - 1/30

    Friday the S&P 500 sold off and broke below the psychologically significant 2000 level. Other than being a round number that’s about all the significance I would give to 2000.  If I were still a full time trader the number I would be more concerned with is 1990. The first chart this weekend is a daily closing chart for the S&P 500. I did write a book on technical analysis (like 9 years ago) but do not claim to be a master technician. However it sure appears to me that support for[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Jan 29, 2015, 3:17 PM

    Next Week in Weeklys - 2/2 - 2/6

    Next Week in Weeklys - 2/2 - 2/6

    There were no changes to the list so I'll get to the important stuff, earnings.  History is based on three years and the data is italicized when there I less than three years data available, such at TWTR and GPRO on this list -  

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Jan 25, 2015, 3:47 PM

    Next Week in Weeklys - 1/26 - 1/30

    Next Week in Weeklys - 1/26 - 1/30

    I have been putting these posts together for a couple of years now.  Since starting this project, I am pretty certain this is the biggest earnings week for stocks with short dated options.  There are about 70 companies that have Weeklys available reporting their earnings this week.  For those new to all this the table represents the biggest up move (Max), biggest price drop (Min), average move (Abs Avg) and what the stock did in reaction to earnings last quarter.  The historical[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Jan 25, 2015, 9:39 AM

    The Week in VIX - 1/20 - 1/23

    The Week in VIX - 1/20 - 1/23

    The S&P 500 was strong and VIX was weak last week. We returned to contango in VIX world as the S&P 500 was up 1.6% for the week. This despite having a tough Friday. Note the February future is at a pretty nice premium to the spot index. This may be a function of the people of Greece going to the polls this weekend, a two day Fed meeting, and a slew of economic numbers coming out next week. Near the top of my weekend ‘must read’ list is Steven Sears’ Striking Price column[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Jan 24, 2015, 10:06 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/20 - 1/23

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/20 - 1/23

    Last week was another roller coaster ride for the equity market and subsequently the volatility markets. The VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT volatility curve shifted back into contango and shook off a mild market drop on Friday to stay that way. With VIX having a 16 handle, I am beginning to wonder if traders are reaching an exhaustion point from reacting to dramatic down days in stock prices. The long volatility funds such as VXX had a tough week losing around 9%, again despite[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 21, 2015, 11:07 AM

    Block Trade - Yesterday's Buyer of VIX Jan 20 Calls

    Block Trade - Yesterday's Buyer of VIX Jan 20 Calls

    Yesterday as the trading day got started I heard a shout to my right (which is the direction of the VIX pit) as a big trade came into the VIX arena. It turns out all the hubbub was about a buyer of 80,000 VIX Jan 20 Calls who paid 0.75 for 8,370 and 0.80 for 71,630 of those options. Being the day before January VIX settlement this trade was a bit of a surprise, but also got a lot of attention. Later in the day, with VIX higher, a (maybe the same?) buyer returned purchasing about 70,000 of the VIX[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Jan 19, 2015, 8:56 AM

    Explaining VIX to a 10 Year Old

    Explaining VIX to a 10 Year Old

    This weekend, as I drove my oldest daughter to one of her many activities, she asked if she could ask me a question. I braced myself for something that may be more appropriate for her mother to answer. However, I was surprised when she uttered the words, “Dad, what’s VIX?” Here’s a summary of my attempt to explain VIX to a 10 year old – Let’s say the amount of money you have in the bank goes up and down with the markets, like those numbers I watch on TV in the[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 17, 2015, 1:00 PM

    Last Week in VIX - 1/12 - 1/16

    Last Week in VIX - 1/12 - 1/16

    If the January VIX futures could speak they probably would say something like, “I told you so”. Of course the contracts can’t speak, but the point behind this is a week ago the January contract closed at a pretty substantial premium to VIX relative to recent history. A week later both the January contract and spot VIX are higher. Remember VIX futures are priced based on a risk premium associated with being short volatility or the anticipation that VIX make move up in the near term.  [...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 16, 2015, 8:26 PM

    Last Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/12 - 1/16

    Last Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/12 - 1/16

    Despite Friday’s rally, the S&P 500 was down four of five days and gave up about 1.25% last week. At the worst point the S&P 500 was down over 3% on the week and then of course it shook off the dip and rallied to end the week. You can’t keep a good market down nor does it appear can the bears keep this market down either. All four of the S&P 500 oriented volatility indexes were higher for the week. And the curve became slightly inverted. VXST is higher than the three other[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Jan 15, 2015, 7:30 PM

    Block Trade - Deep OTM RUT Put Spread from 1/14

    Block Trade - Deep OTM RUT Put Spread from 1/14

    I know this is a bit dated, but looking at Wednesday’s block trades something stood out to me in the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) option arena. A large (over 20,000 contracts) block trade went off in the RUT Jan 23rd 1060 and RUT Jan 23rd 1070 Puts. The trade was a far out of the money bull put spread with the RUT Jan 23rd 1070 Puts being sold for 1.15 and the RUT Jan 23rd 1060 Puts being purchased for 1.00 and a net credit of 0.15. As will all vertical credit spreads the maximum profit for this[...]

  • Market News | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jan 14, 2015, 9:15 PM

    Next Week in Weeklys - 1/20 - 1/23

    Next Week in Weeklys - 1/20 - 1/23

    Next week is a holiday shortened week as noted in the blog that appears just before this one.  Despite it being a short week, there's plenty of companies with short dated options reporting earnings next week.  Things get started on Tuesday morning with numbers from Baker Hughes (BHI) and Halliburton (HAL) which should be interesting since the oil market has been in the news lately.  The week finishes up with McDonalds (MCD) and General Electric (GE) reporting before the open Friday[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 11, 2015, 8:00 AM

    Last Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/5 - 1/9

    Last Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/5 - 1/9

    When we have volatile weeks like last week I will alter the various term structure of volatility charts included in these blogs. The first graphic is an example of this where I added Tuesday’s closing levels for VXST, VIX, VXV, and VXMT to the typical week over week curve. Something that really stands out to me on this graphic is the shape of the Tuesday close. There is no inversion with VXST moving to a premium relative to VIX and the levels at the far end of the curve (VXV and VXMT) are at[...]