• Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Nov 7, 2015, 11:22 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 11/2 - 11/6

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 11/2 - 11/6

    The S&P 500 quietly rose just under 1% last week and VIX worked lower.  Across the board S&P 500 focused volatility indexes dropped with the possibility that any threat of increased volatility in the markets has been pushed out to 2016.  Of course back in August those same indexes dropped as the economic calendar was light and Labor Day was around the corner.  Note what happened on August 21st and August 24th when complacency started setting in. On the table below[...]

  • Market News | Oct 31, 2015, 12:35 PM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/26 - 10/30

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/26 - 10/30

    When I do these blogs I get the data, create the graphics and look at the markets.  I share these mundane facts about my ‘process’ to make a point about the diagram below.  Last week we got an FOMC meeting (although one without a press conference) and GDP number behind us without the stock market did not reacting negatively.  We are looking forward to the October employment report that comes out this Friday, but we did get two of the big three economic events behind us. [...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Trade Ideas | Oct 17, 2015, 6:57 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/12 - 10/16

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/12 - 10/16

    VIX closed under 16.00 for the first time since all the hubbub that occurred in late August as the S&P 500 continued to recover last week gaining 0.90%.  Among the four S&P 500 focused volatility Indexes VIX was the biggest loser shedding almost 12%.  I had been keeping a close eye on VXV as the 3 month time frame that VXV measures comes after the December FOMC announcement.  VXV fell a bit relative to VXMT (6 month volatility) which may be a FOMC indicator and may also be[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Oct 10, 2015, 10:22 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/5 - 10/9

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 10/5 - 10/9

    In Chicago we are already getting use to the Bears getting pummeled each week.  This past week bears everywhere took it on the chin as the S&P 500 put up the best weekly performance in 2015.  What I find interesting on the chart below relates to VIX, which was down 18.4% for the week, which is actually the fourth worst week for VIX this year, despite VIX beginning the week over 20.00. VXX dropped about 11% and SVXY was up closer to 12% last week.  However, the choppy[...]

  • Market News | Oct 3, 2015, 7:24 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/28 - 10/2

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/28 - 10/2

    Those that casually watch VIX may not be aware of the variety of volatility indexes published by CBOE.  On at least a weekly basis I take a look more than VIX and try to gain a little insight into the mind of the market.  The curve below shows the relationship of four volatility indexes that represent consistent measures of implied volatility as indicated by S&P 500 (SPX) index option prices.  What has been catching my eye since excess market volatility started to commence on August[...]

  • 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 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[...]

  • 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 | 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 | 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[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Aug 29, 2015, 7:55 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/24 - 8/28

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/24 - 8/28

    Under no circumstances does the week over week change in the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve tell the story of last week.  There’s something worth noting, but last week is not done any justice at all if a line showing Monday closing prices is not included, therefore it is. What strikes me as noteworthy about the week over week change in something that is very subtle on the term structure chart that appears above.  Note that VXV and VXMT actually rose last[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Aug 22, 2015, 11:22 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/17 - 8/21

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/17 - 8/21

    The S&P 500 was down 5.77% and S&P 500 related volatility indexes did exactly what traders would expect. They shot higher and the curve became as inverted as it has been in the last three to four years. I’m pretty sure the last time the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve was in this sort of backwardation was in August 2011. For the record VXST was up 231%, VIX rose 118%, VXV gained 51%, and VXMT was higher by about 34% for the week.   Before the week began, XIV[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Aug 15, 2015, 8:37 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/10 - 8/14

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/10 - 8/14

    Three out of four volatility indexes calculated using S&P 500 Index options to determine a consistent measure of implied volatility were lower last week. For all of 2015 the father dated volatility indexes have been elevated relative to VXST and VIX. We are now approaching a time where the potential for a rate hike is closing in. That may be the reason VXV held up last week while the other three indexes dropped. The stock market had a rocky ride, but finished the week higher. Everyone’s[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Aug 8, 2015, 2:06 PM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/3 - 8/7

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/3 - 8/7

    The over 1% drop in the stock market did not get traders too worried as VIX remains well under 14 and the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve maintained a distinct ‘normal looking’ curve. In 30 days we will be in early September, which is a time of year that often puts traders more on edge.   VIX did rise over 10% last week in response to the S&P losing 1.25%. As of Friday VXX was about 1/3rd August VIX futures and 2/3rds September VIX. Since the August contract[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Aug 1, 2015, 10:32 AM

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 7/27 - 7/31

    The Week in Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 7/27 - 7/31

    I was reminded of my advancing age several times this past week. I’ll save those incidents for the other grumpy aging men on my block. One of the benefits (let me believe this) of being around for a while is having lived through a variety of market environments. This market got me thinking about John Gotti who was the boss of the Gambino family back in the day. One of his monikers was “The Teflon Don” as he was put on trial three times and acquitted three times. Teflon is a substance[...]

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