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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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.
While traders of nothing but the Essenpee would find themselves sitting on a gain of 1.5% to nearly 2% from February 14th through today (or through Friday, March 3rd's closing price, thus the difference between quotes), traders like me who favor TVIX or UVXY would be sitting right where they started, whether short or long. See chart below for a short history of UVXY over the last nearly-three-weeks.
My account performance shows a gain of several percent. How did I do that, when trading nothing[...]
Textbook and parallel are two terms that come to mind to described the shift in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve below. Also, steep comes to mind as the longer dated indexes are pretty elevated when compared to VIX and VXST.
The long funds below benefited from volatility increasing a bit on Tuesday last week, with VIX even putting in a 2017 high, before resuming their downward trajectory. Note TYVIX giving up 10% which puts the volatility of 10-Year Treasury Note options[...]
Early Friday a huge spread trade was executed at CBOE using options on the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Index ETF (EEM). Just a few minutes into the day a trader bought 66,000 EEM Mar 38 Calls at 0.62, sold 132,000 (twice as many) EEM Mar 39 Calls for 0.18 and then took in a little more premium by selling 66,000 EEM Mar 37 Puts for 0.19. The net result was a cost of 0.07 for each short 1 37 Put, long 1 38 Call, short 2 39 Calls spreads. The payoff at expiration on March 17th[...]
Large cap dominance continues as the Russell 1000 (RUI) gained 0.77% last week and the Russell 2000 (RUT) was down 0.38%. For the year RUI is now outpacing by over 3%.
Small cap risk remains high relative to large cap risk as the CBOE Russell 2000 (RVX) premium to VIX remains are elevated levels.
First thing Friday, with RUT under a bit of pressure down about 10 points around 1383 one trader came in with a bull put spread that has a ton of room for error. They sold the RUT Apr[...]
VIX was the only S&P 500 related volatility index that lost value last week. VXST rose, probably getting a boost from coming off a long weekend. The longer dated volatility indexes mirrored the action in longer dated VIX futures by moving to the upside. April seems to be the next month of concern among volatility players with the pending election in France.
Other pockets of volatility are showing up in the table below. SKEW finished the week near recent highs and[...]
To say that volatility was flat last week is misstating the facts. Sure, VIX was lower, but wow, look at the rest of the curve. All contracts were higher with April and May futures leading the way at up over 6%. For this we will blame France, which I will explain after the VIX Table / Term Structure below.
VSTOXX is basically VIX for the European markets. Specifically, it is an index that calculates a consistent measure of implied volatility as indicated by options[...]
Today’s What’s Trading focused on a Bull Put Spread using Russell 2000 (RUT) quarter end options expiring on March 31st.
For 2017, as of mid-morning today, the S&P 500 (SPX) is up about 3% more than RUT, which is a reversal of year end price action that saw small cap stocks as represented by RUT out performance the SPX by over 10% from election day to December 31st.
Note the elevated level of RUT implied volatility of RUT options as represented by the CBOE Russell[...]
VXST and VIX managed gains last week while the longer dated volatility indexes (VXV and VXMT) both lost value. The curve created by charting out VXST, VIX, VXV, and VXMT has been steep for most of 2017 as the shorter dated indexes have been at very low levels. The price action last week narrowed the angle to more normal levels.
Last week the S&P 500 was up just over 1.5% and VIX rose over 5%. More on that after the table below.
I ran some numbers and this is[...]
We’ve experienced several twists in the volatility markets this year where the futures don’t move in sync or in line with spot VIX. This occurred again last week as VIX rose almost 6% while the futures markets moved lower. Part of this may be attributed to February going off the board, at least with respect to March, but the farther date futures had been a bit elevated this year, but with the lack of any sort of volatility event appear to have started to weigh on the farther[...]
The Russell 1000 (RUI) gained about 1.5% last week and is now up over 5% for the year while the Russell 2000 (RUT) was up 0.8% and is trailing RUI up a tad more than 3% for 2017.
The relative implied volatility of Russell 2000 options dropped to a historically more normal level last week after spending most of this year at the top end of the historical range.
On Wednesday RUT managed to close over 1400 which bought out at least one trader with a short term bearish outlook. With about 30[...]