Trader Talk Archives - Cboe Blogs

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Sep 19, 2015, 5:42 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/14 - 9/18

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/14 - 9/18

    All four of the S&P 500 oriented volatility indexes dropped last week as we finally got the September FOMC meeting behind us.  At this point there are two more meetings in 2015.  What I find interesting is VXV, which is a measure of 3 month expected volatility held up more than the other three indexes.  It just so happens that 3 months from this week is also the final FOMC meeting of the year. In the ETN space, VXX, UVXY, and TVIX gave up more of the recent gains despite the VIX[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 16, 2015, 9:24 AM

    I Don't Usually Trade Long Options...But When I Do

    I Don't Usually Trade Long Options...But When I Do

    Who buys calls?  Who buys puts?  I often wonder this, as I am usually the one selling them to others.  Do buyers really think they're going to profit from them?  Is a real person buying them?  Is it a bank, or a "market maker" (they are people, right?  I admit I'm confused about those mythical creatures.) Anyway, it's a rare happenstance that I think a call or put is worth buying.  One thing that makes an option attractive to me is its structure of being[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Trade Ideas | Sep 13, 2015, 2:06 PM

    The Week in Russell 2000 Trading - 9/8 - 9/11

    The Week in Russell 2000 Trading - 9/8 - 9/11

    Small and large cap stocks moved higher in sync last week with both the Russell 1000 (RUI) and Russell 2000 (RUT) gaining about 2%.  Both are still lower for the year with RUI down 4.32% and RUT down 3.89%. On the volatility front VIX finished the week at about a 5% discount to the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX).  Historically RVX is usually at about a 20% premium to VIX, however, in times of global crisis or higher levels of volatility the two tend to converge.  The recent[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Sep 13, 2015, 9:59 AM

    The Week in VIX - 9/8 - 9/11

    The Week in VIX - 9/8 - 9/11

    VIX dropped last week, which it tends to do when the S&P 500 is up 2%, but the futures curve remains in a state of backwardation.  The continued backwardation honestly surprises me when the risk everyone is talking about comes after September contracts settle on the open Wednesday of this week.  It may just be that there is more to be worried about than the pending Fed announcement. The weekly VIX curve shifted lower as well.  Having five consecutive weekly VIX futures expirations[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Sep 12, 2015, 10:43 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/8 - 9/12

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/8 - 9/12

    The VXST – VIX  - VXV – VXMT curve shifted dramatically to the downside last week in response to the S&P 500 recovering about 2% of recent losses.  The highlight here for me is that VXST is still at a premium to VIX, although the difference is very slight.  All eyes are on the Fed this coming week.  I’m going to attribute this short term volatility premium to the market preparing for the known unknown of how the financial markets will react to the Fed statement. As[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Sep 10, 2015, 11:00 AM

    Earnings Next Week - 9/14 - 9/18

    Earnings Next Week - 9/14 - 9/18

    We are still between earnings seasons so there are only a few companies reporting next week. As always the table below represents the last 12 quarters of post earnings stock price reactions.

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Sep 9, 2015, 3:05 PM

    Trader Taking Advantage of SPX Weeklys and Extended Trading Hours

    Trader Taking Advantage of SPX Weeklys and Extended Trading Hours

    Once a week I like to report about a block trade in this space.  This week I’m going to discuss a trade, but it does not qualify as a block trade.  In fact it is a one lot.  However, this trade is pretty interesting as it takes advantage of two recent developments in the option markets - Weeklys and Extended Trading Hours. I have neighbor who is a pretty frequent trader in the SPX option and S&P futures market.  We’ll call him Larry to protect his identity. [...]

  • The Week in Russell 2000 Trading - 8/31 - 9/4

    The Week in Russell 2000 Trading - 8/31 - 9/4

    The Russell 1000 (RUI) was down 3.31% last week and the Russell 2000 (RUT) lost 2.3%.  This outperformance (I know it doesn’t feel like outperformance) of small caps leads me to ponder the true concerns of market participants that actually put money to work.  The press continues to focus on the Fed’s next move, which will be known in just under two weeks on September 17th.  However, small cap stocks, as a group, are more exposed to the domestic economy than large cap stocks. [...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Sep 5, 2015, 3:44 PM

    The Week in VIX - 8/31 - 9/4

    The Week in VIX - 8/31 - 9/4

    On the traditional VIX curve we saw a pretty dramatic shift of the upside across the board.  The exception was spot VIX, but we have to attribute the smaller move to the three day weekend effect that causes VIX to close a little lower than if we were approaching a 2 day weekend.  A couple of things catch my eye on the term structure chart below. First, the price difference between September and October has me scratching my head.  On Friday we kept hearing how the employment number[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Trade Ideas | Sep 5, 2015, 11:00 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/31 - 9/4

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/31 - 9/4

    The S&P 500 lost 3.4% last week which I guess is becoming commonplace these days.  Do note on the curve below that VXST closed a tad lower on a week over week basis.  We attribute this to the long weekend we are currently experiencing and I’ll address that a little more in a minute. Both VXST and VIX experience a little bit of a headwind going into long weekends.  This can be attributed to the calculations of both being based on calendar days and not trading days. [...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Strategy | Sep 3, 2015, 3:57 PM

    Earnings Next Week - 9/8 - 9/11

    Earnings Next Week - 9/8 - 9/11

    Next week is a holiday shortened week and sort of between earnings seasons as well, but we do have two companies with Weeklys available reporting.  Probably the most exciting name is LULU.  Also note this history PANW is less than the standard 12 quarters as the company has only been around long enough to report 11 times.  

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Sep 3, 2015, 3:17 PM

    Block Trade - RUT Bull Put Spread That's More Like Just Shorting a Put

    Block Trade - RUT Bull Put Spread That's More Like Just Shorting a Put

    Before getting to the trade, indulge me for a second while I show the value of selling puts in a broad based market index... The CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) is an excellent depiction of the benefits of selling puts.  The chart below shows the performance of PUT versus the total return for the S&P 500 from January 1990 through the end of August 2015.  Both returns are displayed assuming $100 was invested at the beginning of 1990.  Note over time PUT outperforms[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Sep 1, 2015, 4:04 PM

    May the Next Voice You Hear Be Your Own

    May the Next Voice You Hear Be Your Own

    Con·trar·i·an Noun A person who takes an opposing view. One who rejects the majority opinion as in economic matters. What an emotional business this is. The uneasy market sell-off continued today with option implied volatility climbing higher. Radio and TV experts have no problem pumping fear into the average investor’s head. Fright sells. RIP Wes Craven. New traders make the big mistake of watching and listening for every clue to help them place the perfect trade. Only to fill[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Aug 31, 2015, 6:24 PM

    Easy Trading Before the Hurricane Came Through

    Easy Trading Before the Hurricane Came Through

    As someone pointed out two posts back, I did tell everyone: "Follow along for a less wordy (because I've already explained it all) installation documenting the conclusion to this story pretty soon, as the story must end before the dates stamped on my only two current positions: Friday the 21st." So here it is, minus lots of words, because there's not a ton to say other than when I opened, when I closed, and the prices (and the way I dodged being assigned a lot of shares at the associated[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Aug 30, 2015, 11:41 AM

    The History of VIX Contango and Backwardation

    The History of VIX Contango and Backwardation

    This morning (Sunday) I got a request from Eric Thompson at Thompson Capital Management to look into streaks of backwardation in VIX.  There are different ways to measure backwardation.  You will hear pundits say we are in backwardation whenever VIX closes higher than the front month future.  Most market participants like to look to the relationship between the first and second month future since that relationship has a direct impact on the volatility oriented exchange traded products[...]