The short term volatility indexes (VXST and VIX) were up a bit last week as the S&P 500 set multiple all-time closing record highs last week. VIX3M (formerly VXV) and VXMT were both up slightly resulting the rare ‘term-structure twist’. It’s really not that rare, I just had a nature documentary voice in my head as I typed that.
The table below has few surprises (beyond VXST and VIX higher). TYVIX heading to higher levels is a bit of a head scratcher until I notice the December FOMC meeting is sneaking up on us. It’s difficult to think the December meeting is around the corner when it’s 75 degrees in Chicago as I type this. Finally, worth noting is SKEW rallying to near all-time highs as the S&P 500 did the same.
Across the volatility universe most indexes were lower. IBM and Goldman Sachs volatility on the bottom of the table is a great reminder than not all volatility markets are the same. Looking at the top end of the chart the words, ‘mixed bag’ popped into my mind.
As mentioned already, we experienced a short-lived volatility spike Thursday morning, this sent me looking for traders using options on volatility linked ETPs to take the other side of this move. With VXX up around 35.60 a trader came in and sold the VXX Oct 20th 34.00 Calls at 1.68 and purchased the VXX Oct 20th 36.50 Calls for 0.31 and a net credit of 1.37. The payout at expiration (Friday’s close) shows up below.
This turned out to be a well-timed fade of the volatility move that lasted about 45 minutes. VXX finished the week at 33.79, 0.21 under the short call strike of 34.00 which places it a perfect place for this bear call spread as both options expired with no value