• Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Sep 26, 2015, 10:44 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/21 - 9/25

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/21 - 9/25

    With the drop in the S&P 500 last week the market continues to be on edge.  This is reflected in the uniform move higher in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve from last week.  Note the ‘bump’ remains on the VXV data point which represents 3 month implied volatility.  This time frame is the first on the chart below to come after the last two Fed meetings in 2015.  It will be interesting to see if a change in the shape curve coincides with the approach[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Sep 24, 2015, 1:51 AM

    RMC Europe Day 2 Preview

    RMC Europe Day 2 Preview

    The second day is always the most jam packed day at Risk Management and this year’s European stop in Geneva is full of thought provoking presentations. The day begins with a welcome address from Ed Provost, President and COO of CBOE Holdings.  The welcome address normally touches on new product initiatives and I look forward to finding out what CBOE has in store.  Paul Donovan, the Global Economist from UBS follows the welcoming address delivering a presentation titled, “It[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 21, 2015, 12:40 AM

    Earnings Next Week - 9/21 - 9/24

    Earnings Next Week - 9/21 - 9/24

    We are still in a pretty light period as far as earnings announcements go.  Things don't kick off until Thursday with ACN in the morning and NKE and BBBY in the afternoon.  As always the numbers below depict the last three year's worth of stock price reactions to earnings announcements.

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Sep 19, 2015, 12:00 PM

    The Week in VIX - 9/14 - 9/18

    The Week in VIX - 9/14 - 9/18

    VIX was slightly lower despite the S&P 500 dropping a little last week.  I would not read anything into this slight market anomaly(both SPX and VIX dropping last week).  VIX actually showed the type of behavior we are accustomed to with equity implied volatility leading up to and after an earnings report.  Just think of the FOMC announcement as a kind of earnings announcement for the equity markets. The September contract settled Wednesday last week and now October is the front[...]

  • 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.