Of the three broad based market indexes that have tradable volatility markets, the Nasdaq-100 (NDX – 4236.28) was the clear winner in 2014. NDX rose almost 18% on the year while the S&P 500 was up 11.4% and the Russell 2000 gained only 3.5%. With the tech and biotech sector in favor for most of 2014 volatility as priced in by NDX options was relatively low.
The first thought I have when I look at the table below is disbelief. I’ve said this many times and I’m truly amazed that NDX has been down only one out of the last eleven years. 2008 (and early 2009) was such a tough time I guess it felt like more than just one bad year. The few volatility spikes we got in early and late 2014 were a bit more dramatic than those associated with the small stock market pull backs of 2013. The result was the average for VXN coming in almost a point higher in this year than last year. VIX made a post 2008 low, but VXN outdid VIX and made an all-time low (11.36) in 2014.
For more insight and thoughts about 2014 join me for a 2014 volatility wrap up webcast this coming Monday (1/5/15) at noon Chicago time – register at www.cboe.com/webcasts