Trader Talk Archives - Cboe Blogs

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 12, 2017, 10:47 AM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 3/6 - 3/10

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 3/6 - 3/10

    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.  The[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 6, 2017, 3:37 PM

    Tales from the Cross VIX Highway

    Tales from the Cross VIX Highway

    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[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Mar 5, 2017, 8:08 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/27/2017 - 3/3/2017

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/27/2017 - 3/3/2017

    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[...]

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 3, 2017, 9:47 AM

    Block Trade Analysis - Huge Bullish EEM Spread Trade

    Block Trade Analysis - Huge Bullish EEM Spread Trade

    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[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Feb 25, 2017, 5:22 PM

    Update on The Warren Buffett Put Trades

    Update on The Warren Buffett Put Trades

    A few years ago, I was asked to co-author the study guide that accompanies the 3rd version of The Warren Buffett Way.  While doing research for this project I came across a discussion of a handful of index put options that Berkshire Hathaway had sold between 2004 and 2008.  Every year when the Berkshire Hathaway annual report comes out, I dig in to see how these trades are doing.  Here’s the update as of the end of 2016. Back in 2008, as the financial world was falling apart,[...]

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 25, 2017, 2:54 PM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/21 - 2/24

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/21 - 2/24

    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[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 25, 2017, 2:14 PM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/21 - 2/24

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/21 - 2/24

    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[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Feb 25, 2017, 10:46 AM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 2/21 - 2/24

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 2/21 - 2/24

    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[...]

  • What's Trading Today - OTM RUT Bull Put Spread

    What's Trading Today - OTM RUT Bull Put Spread

    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[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 20, 2017, 7:30 PM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/13 - 2/17

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/13 - 2/17

    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[...]

  • Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/13 - 2/17

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/13 - 2/17

    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[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Feb 16, 2017, 10:49 AM

    Block Trade Analysis - Large Bullish 1 x 4 VIX Option Trade

    Block Trade Analysis - Large Bullish 1 x 4 VIX Option Trade

    I’m on the road today playing an academic, but regardless of how far I am from CBOE I still am fortunate that I’m constantly keep in the loop about big trades.  I got a heads up this morning that a VIX Mar 15 – 22 1 x 4 Call spread traded in the VIX pit a few minutes after the open.  My assumption was the trader bought the 15’s and sold the 22’s (I was wrong) mainly because all the big trades seem to be based on a low volatility outlook.  Also, my incorrect[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Feb 15, 2017, 7:40 PM

    Block Trade Analysis - Large RUT Bear Call Spread

    Block Trade Analysis - Large RUT Bear Call Spread

    As the Russell 2000 (RUT) continues to move into uncharted territory at least one trader believes 1500 is not achievable.  At least not through standard March (3/17) expiration.  Early today when RUT was around 1393 (much lower than today’s close) a pretty big trade came into the RUT post.  Specifically, they was a seller of 37,601 RUT Mar 1490 Calls at 1.42 who then purchased 37,601 RUT Mar 1510 Calls for 0.95.  The result is a net credit of 0.47 and a payoff at RUT AM[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 14, 2017, 5:18 PM

    VIX and Three Day Weekends

    VIX and Three Day Weekends

    Another three-day weekend is sneaking up on us.  The result for those of us that have an unhealthy obsession with VIX is to talk about how a three-day weekend provides a headwind for VIX performance.  It has been awhile since I looked at the impact of holiday weekends so I downloaded data and got to work.  The reason we believe in the three-day weekend effect stems from how VIX is calculated.  VIX is a calendar day measure, so when we are approaching a day where the markets[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Feb 12, 2017, 12:20 PM

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/6 - 2/10

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 2/6 - 2/10

    Both the Russell 1000 (RUI) and Russell 2000 (RUT) were up about 0.80% for the week.  For the year, RUI still holds a performance lead of about 1.3%.  Just for fun and because it was a year ago this weekend that the US equity markets put in the 2016 lows I decided to see where things stood at that time.  As of February 11th of last year RUT was down 16.0% and RUI was down only 11.3%.  Man what a difference a year makes.  In the volatility space, the Russell 2000 Volatility[...]