• 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 | 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[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Aug 17, 2015, 7:29 PM

    The Bull Market Lives! Long Live the Bull Market...

    The Bull Market Lives!  Long Live the Bull Market...

    ...or at least through the end of this week.  After that I'll be ready for anything else, but please - whatever is keeping volatility low - stay stable for a few more days. My escapades this month started on August 3rd, when I thought I'd draw a line in the sand for UVXY.  See chart below. UVXY was in the $25 range that day and its fraternal twin VIX was in the low 12s. I calculated that UVXY was unlikely to sink as low as $24 during the next two weeks, and wrote puts at that strike for[...]

  • VIX | Education | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Aug 2, 2015, 5:17 PM

    July: Tricky by Anyone's Standards

    July:  Tricky by Anyone's Standards

    Editors note – we would like to welcome Meredith Kelley Zidek as a new contributor to the CBOE Options Hub.  Meredith is a private investor whose interests include equities, options, and commodities.  She began trading equities in 2007, and since then has cultivated interests in corn, energy, and most recently, index and equity options. Almost all of her trading, which can be seen on grapestrades.blogspot.com, involves short options on volatility-related instruments.  She studies[...]

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jul 27, 2015, 7:35 PM

    Hitting a single in $SVXY

    Hitting a single in $SVXY

    Editors note – we would like to welcome Meredith Kelley Zidek as a new contributor to the CBOE Options Hub.  Meredith is a private investor whose interests include equities, options, and commodities.  She began trading equities in 2007, and since then has cultivated interests in corn, energy, and most recently, index and equity options. Almost all of her trading, which can be seen on grapestrades.blogspot.com, involves short options on volatility-related instruments.  She studies[...]

  • Education | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jul 15, 2015, 4:01 PM

    Trade Analysis - Selling $SVXY Puts

    Trade Analysis - Selling $SVXY Puts

    Editors note - we would like to welcome Meredith Kelley Zidek as a new contributor to the CBOE Options Hub.  Meredith is a private investor whose interests include equities, options, and commodities.  She began trading equities in 2007, and since then has cultivated interests in corn, energy, and most recently, index and equity options. Almost all of her trading, which can be seen on grapestrades.blogspot.com, involves short options on volatility-related instruments.  She studies the[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Feb 28, 2015, 7:47 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/23 - 2/27

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 2/23 - 2/27

    Last week was fairly quiet despite the second revision of GDP coming in a little light. We may see a little more volatility action in the coming week as on Wednesday the ADP Employment Change report is released Wednesday before the open and then the government version of the employment report coming on Friday. Both of these reports are significant as they are a first look at economic activity for February. Despite the S&P 500 losing a little value last week, with Friday to blame, the VXST –[...]

  • Market News | Feb 6, 2015, 8:36 PM

    The Week in Volatility Options and ETPs - 2/2 - 2/6

    The Week in Volatility Options and ETPs - 2/2 - 2/6

    A big up week for the S&P 500 resulted in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT term structure curve returning to contango after going into backwardation to end the previous week. This sort of action is wearing thin for guys on the floor. I was even pulled aside and told that there seems to be a sort of ‘seller’s exhaustion’ when the market moves dramatically in one direction or another.   I’ll speak to that topic more after discussing the ETPs. There[...]

  • 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[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 1, 2015, 11:40 AM

    Volatility Indexes and ETPs in 2014

    Volatility Indexes and ETPs in 2014

    During the first half of 2014 I got to have several conversations about whether or not VIX was ‘broken’ since the average level for VIX was so low. Needless to say I haven’t fielded a single call or email about VIX being broken since October. 2014 was a pretty interesting year in volatility trading. More market participants have become involved in the volatility markets through VIX future, options, or ETPs. The table below shows the year over year change for the S&P 500, volatility[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Dec 27, 2014, 10:37 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/22 - 12/26

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/22 - 12/26

    This past week the S&P 500 recorded a record high on 3 of the 4 trading days with Friday being number 52 in 2014. I did some digging on this topic and 52 new highs in a year is less than the number of new highs just last year. Last year the S&P 500 set 69 new highs, but that still isn’t the record number of new highs in a single year. 1995 holds that distinction with the S&P 500 closed at a record level 77 times. The term structure curve is returning to normal based on the price[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Dec 20, 2014, 10:09 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/15 - 12/19

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/15 - 12/19

    Santa Claus did not disappoint and his annual rally took the S&P 500 up 3.41% last week.   That move took the air out of the four S&P 500 related volatility indexes with VXST leading the way and losing over 40%.   The curve shift formed the week over week ‘horn’ which I guess is appropriate for the season. Sticking with a theme I’ve been all over this quarter the S&P 500 is only a few points from setting another record high. Despite[...]