• Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 2, 2016, 8:39 AM

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 9/26 - 9/30

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 9/26 - 9/30

    The VIX curve did The Twist (cue Chuck Berry) as spot VIX rose 8% and the front month October contract was up by just over 1%.  Beyond the front month all things were red. The highest closing level for VIX last week came on Monday with the spot index finishing the day at 14.50.  One trader had an expectation that this move up would very short lived and decided to sell a call spread with VIX Weeklys Options that expired on the open this past Wednesday.  Just a few minutes[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 1, 2016, 12:53 PM

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 9/26 - 9/30

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 9/26 - 9/30

    For the first time in a while the Russell 1000 was higher while the Russell 2000 lost value last week.  The numbers were slight with RUI up 0.15% and RUT down 0.26%.  For the year RUT still maintains a nice lead with three months to go in 2016. The CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index maintains a high spread relative to VIX continuing to hover around that 40% level.   On Monday the Russell 2000 came under a little pressure and one trader decided to take advantage of this[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 25, 2016, 10:25 AM

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 9/19 - 9/23

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 9/19 - 9/23

    The relative performance of small caps to large caps has been phenomenal for those who picked the equity market bottom back in February.  This past week the Russell 2000 (RUT) almost doubled the performance of the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI) rising 2.56% versus 1.30%.  This places RUT at up 10.45% for 2016 while RUI is up a still respectable 6.06%.  The really amazing numbers shows up when we look at what RUT has done relative to RUI since February 11th of this year. [...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Sep 24, 2016, 5:18 PM

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 9/19 - 9/23

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 9/19 - 9/23

    VIX reacted to the post FOMC rally by giving up just over 20% last week.  The standard September contract went off the board leaving October to take over as the front month.  With a little time until October expiration (10/19) the result has been resumption of pretty steep contango.  Of course there are some potentially market moving events between now and the end of the year so VIX futures bracing for some sort of spike may be expected. As I wrote the previous paragraph[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 24, 2016, 5:05 PM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/19 - 9/23

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/19 - 9/23

    Janet Yellen spoke and volatility dropped.  I wonder if she's the kind of guest that shows up and ruins parties like she dampens any moves in S&P 500 volatility. The table below has a ton of red, as would be expected following a week where VIX drops about 20%.  I did field a question on Friday regarding last week's drop in the context of history and it ranks in about the top 50 week over week drops out of 1400 weekly observations.  VVIX continues to be resilient.  In[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Strategy | Sep 19, 2016, 10:37 AM

    Earnings This Week - 9/19 - 9/23

    Earnings This Week - 9/19 - 9/23

    As always the data below is based on the last three years of earnings results unless the ticker is in italics.  The columns show the biggest rally, biggest drop, average move, and what the stock did last quarter in reaction to earnings.

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 18, 2016, 2:53 PM

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 9/12 - 9/16

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 9/12 - 9/16

    VIX gave up a little over 12% while the futures were lower, but not nearly to the extent that spot VIX lost value.  We are back to contango in the blink of an eye. VIX options and futures trade until 3:15 Chicago time each day.  Late Friday, after the official stock market closing time of 3:00, someone came in and did a pretty interesting trade in VIX.  The trade involved a purchase of 3,000 VIX Sep 21st 20 Calls at 0.19 each and then sold 10,000 VIX Sep 21st 23 Calls[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 18, 2016, 7:25 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/12 - 9/16

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 9/12 - 9/16

    After a lot of zigging and zagging VIX and the other S&P 500 related volatility indexes finished lower on a week over week basis.  The curve depicting the relationship among VXST, VIX, VXV, and VXMT even returned to a historically normally shape. I found VVIX remaining over 100 interesting despite last week's drop in VIX.  Also, the drop in TYVIX is noteworthy as it occurred in front of a week where we get a Fed decision. In the exchange traded product space the long funds[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 10, 2016, 2:17 PM

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

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

    VXST more than doubled as a function of the index being depressed in front of the three-day weekend and then in reaction to Friday’s SPX sell off.  As would be expected, the rest of the VXST-VIX-VXV-VXMT curve moved higher as well, but outside of VXST relative to VIX we are still in a state of contango. The 2.39% drop in the S&P 500 all came from Friday’s price action as did just about everything else on the table below.  Note that VXX rose 11% and UVXY gained[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 10, 2016, 9:30 AM

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 9/5 - 9/9

    Weekend Review - VIX Options and Futures - 9/5 - 9/9

    The streak of SPX doldrums came to an end on Friday with the orderly drop of over 50 points for which resulted in VIX rising to 17.50.  Everything worth noting happened on Friday which may have added to the angst that resulted in the S&P 500 closing near the daily lows and VIX closing near the daily highs. Early Friday when VIX was at 13.93 and the big move was just getting started there was a split strike trade that came into the pit.  With the October future at 16.35[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 5, 2016, 8:40 AM

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 8/29 - 9/2

    Weekend Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 8/29 - 9/2

    I went to the horse track for the first time in about a decade just before writing this blog.  In one race, a horse (not mine of course) steadily pulled away into the finish of a race.  That’s sort of what is happening with the Russell 2000 (RUT) performance relative to the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI). RUT gained almost twice as much at RUI last week (1.19% versus 0.62%).  This places RUT up 10.21% for 2016 and RUI up only 6.81%. VIX finished the week under[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 4, 2016, 11:40 AM

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/29 - 9/2

    Weekend Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 8/29 - 9/2

    The VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve does what it normally does on a pre three-day weekend week and got steeper.  It’s been a while since I ran the numbers but I’m fairly certain VXST almost always drops before a holiday weekend and then rebounds when we all return to work refreshed and ready to trade. SKEW below 130 was the first thing that stood out to me on the table below.  A quick check and I saw that it had been consistently higher than 130[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 3, 2016, 10:31 AM

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 8/29 - 9/2

    Weekend Review - VIX Futures and Options - 8/29 - 9/2

    VIX finished the week just under 12.  We can attribute this to a combination of the equity market being pleased by Friday’s August Non-Farm Payroll report along with the three-day weekend effect.  Note the September futures, which settle on the 21st moved lower, but held up a bit relative to spot VIX.  This is common regardless of the directional move out of the index, but is accentuated whenever we have a long weekend. Despite there only being one trading day (and[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Aug 31, 2016, 6:57 PM

    Earnings Next Week - 9/6 - 9/9

    Earnings Next Week - 9/6 - 9/9

    Due to the short week we only have three stocks with Weeklys available for trading reporting earnings.  As always the data below is based on the last three years of earnings results unless the ticker is in italics.  The columns show the biggest rally, biggest drop, average move, and what the stock did last quarter in reaction to earnings.

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Aug 30, 2016, 7:45 AM

    See a Profit, Pick it Up

    See a Profit, Pick it Up

    She sells short shares down by the SVXY shore... Or something like that goes the nursery rhyme.  But does she buy calls to go with those shares?  Probably not. Here's why I did it: I wanted a chance to benefit from the SVXY downside I envisioned without worrying excessively about the potential penalty for being significantly unfortunate in my timing/prediction.  So, feeling confident that my dream of SVXY put through the macerator would come true, I decided on a price I'd be willing[...]