• Market News | Jul 4, 2016, 6:58 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/24 - 7/1

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/24 - 7/1

    In hindsight volatility definitely overshot to the upside in response to Brexit and the price action on Monday where VIX and the S&P 500 both moved lower together was a sign of things to come last week. The 42.66% drop in VIX was the biggest week over week drop on record (going back to 1990). The whole VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT underwent a shift from one extreme to the other last week. SKEW put in an all-time high and then backed off to more normal levels. TYVIX also[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Jun 25, 2016, 1:12 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/20 - 6/24

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/20 - 6/24

    Global stocks took it on the chin Friday after the outcome for the vote in Britain determined that the majority of voters want to break from the European Union. Usually I show the week over week change for VXST, VIX, VXV, and VXMT to lead off this blog. Because the week over week change doesn’t tell the full story I included the closing prices from Thursday as well. The lowest line on the chart shows the closing levels for each of these S&P 500 oriented volatility indexes the day before[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jun 22, 2016, 1:53 PM

    Taking Apples from Somewhere Near the Top of the Tree

    Taking Apples from Somewhere Near the Top of the Tree

    The best way to tell a story (well, maybe not always) is to tell it in the order in which it happened. In this case, I'll start where I left off, and that means to describe the mystery position I took at the end of the last post. I made mention of it, but did not divulge it. It turns out I opened and closed that position all on the same day, so that by the time my last article went to press, it was already in the can. Here's the rundown for my June 3rd open/shut: Pictorial illustration of the entry[...]

  • Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/13 - 6/17

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/13 - 6/17

    The VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve moved from contango to an unusual shape this past week. Lots of things point to the markets being concerned about next week’s ‘should I stay or should I go’ vote in Britain. VXST represents short term SPX option volatility and the options that expire just after the vote are feeding that calculation.  I’m going to say results in VXST finishing the week at such an elevated level last week have a little to do with Brexit. With[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jun 11, 2016, 12:23 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/6 - 6/10

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 6/6 - 6/10

    Last week VIX rose every day which isn’t all that unusual.   What was ground breaking was that VIX rose each of the first three days last week despite the S&P 500 moving up as well. I decided to take a look at what has happened in the past when both the S&P 500 and VIX rise together for three consecutive days. The result, it's not as uncommon as I thought, we've had 17 occurrences of three up together.  However, the last time was in January 2013. VVIX[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jun 7, 2016, 2:41 PM

    Plans are Meant for Re-Planning

    Plans are Meant for Re-Planning

    At my last writing on Tuesday, May 17th, I had just sold to open SVXY 55.50 puts for the May 20th expiration at 1.45 per contract.  My pledge was to stick to my plan and that's what I did:  I let those expire and realized full profit over the weekend when the contract expired worthless to the buyer.  It was rough going, though, with the high, low, and close of SVXY over the intervening days as shown below:   SVXY's closing price on Friday, May 20th was over $55.50,[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jun 5, 2016, 1:55 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/31 - 6/3

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/31 - 6/3

    The whole curve shifted a bit higher last week. We have to attribute the rise to the three-day weekend effect. At least in the case of VXST and VIX. Typically, VXV and VXMT are not impacted as much as the shorter dated volatility indexes. I might attribute the rise of longer dated volatility to the expected date for the next rate hike being pushed down the road. Despite the rise in VIX last week, the long volatility oriented ETPs were lower on the week. This is a function of the futures[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | May 29, 2016, 9:26 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/23 - 5/27

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/23 - 5/27

    The S&P 500 rally along with the three-day weekend effect pushed VXST to finish Friday below 10.00 for the first time since July of last year. The VXST - VIX - VXV - VXMT curve moved lower and steepened a bit based on the calendar and the strength in the market. Looking at the table below it is like several indexes and instruments are playing limbo seeing how low they can go. VXX and the unleveraged long ETPs lost 10% while the leveraged funds gave up almost 20%. Check[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | May 21, 2016, 12:47 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/16 - 5/20

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/16 - 5/20

    With the S&P 500 zig zagging this week, but finishing up by just over a quarter of one percent the curve was little changed. With one exception, VXST dropped 10% after we got past the FOMC minutes and the markets started to look forward to nothing for the next couple of weeks. VIX and VXMT rose and VXV was lower. I can’t remember the curve shifting like this ever, but since three out of the four moves were pretty small I wouldn’t read too much into it. The long VIX related[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | May 15, 2016, 2:09 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/9 - 5/13

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/9 - 5/13

    There was a slight twist in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve last week as the shorter dated indexes rose and the two long dated indexes dropped slightly. Although unusual, I am not reading too much into this as the curve was already pretty steep and remains so after relatively small changes across the board last week. While updating the numbers below the first thing that stood out to me was the continued elevated level of VVIX. With VIX up a bit, but still in the 15’s[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | May 8, 2016, 1:09 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/2 - 5/6

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 5/2 - 5/6

    The S&P 500 was down 0.44% last week which places the index up only 0.65% for the year. Three out of the four S&P 500 focused volatility indexes were also lower last week, despite the drop in the S&P 500. I find the longer end of the curve holding up like it has for most of 2016 interesting as well as worrisome, at least if you are bullish on stocks. In the ETP space VXX was down by 5.11% and UVXY lost a little over twice as much at VXX. SVXY put up a decent week gaining[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | May 1, 2016, 11:30 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 4/25 - 4/29

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 4/25 - 4/29

    The weakness in the S&P 500 last week, although not really dramatic, did result in pretty big moves out of the four S&P 500 related volatility indexes. They were coming off pretty low levels which attributes to the large moves, at least on a percentage basis. The curve remains steep, which indicates the market remains concerned about whether stocks can move to the upside this year. On the table below VVIX continues to stand out finishing the week over 90.00. Two weeks ago TYVIX[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Apr 24, 2016, 3:44 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 4/18 - 4/22

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 4/18 - 4/22

    Very quiet weeks, like last week, usually result in a slight shift lower in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve. Contango persists and it worked its magic on SVXY, VXX, and UVXY last week. SVXY had a good week rising over 5% while VXX gave up just about the same amount and UVXY lost over 11%. Note VVIX is remaining at relatively high levels as is SKEW.   For the year SVXY is up about 7%, VXX has lost 21% and UVXY is down 45% (after being up over 100% back in February). SVXY[...]

  • Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/28 - 4/1

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/28 - 4/1

    Don’t fight the Fed. That’s a rule we must all live by and long volatility is a fight that isn’t winning these days. Note the drop in the week over week curves below and keep in mind that on March 24th there was a three day weekend in front of VXST which makes that drop even more dramatic. The curve is steep, which can be taken as longer term concerns prevail, but for the near term those looking for higher volatility have stopped fighting. The long funds on the table[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Mar 25, 2016, 9:19 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/21 - 3/24

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 3/21 - 3/24

    The S&P 500 was slightly lower last week, ruining a five week winning streak.  This gave three of the four volatility indexes on the chart below a chance to rebound from 2016 lows.  The exception is VXST, but we give this one a break since three day weekends are always tough on VXST. The choppiness in the volatility space last week, along with the front month future actually losing a little value did no favors for the VIX related ETPs.  UVXY was up almost 9% for the week early[...]