• Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 9, 2016, 9:00 AM

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options 1/4 -1/8

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options 1/4 -1/8

    The VIX curve moved from flat to backwardation as the S&P 500 dropped almost 5% to begin the year.  We finished the previous week with the curve pretty flat which is often considered an indication of uncertainty among volatility traders.  As a stretch of a visual I think about a flat volatility curve replicating a ‘fair coin’ which is the proper academic way to introduce a true 50 / 50 prospect.  That coin toss turned out to be extremely bearish for the equity markets[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Jan 8, 2016, 7:30 PM

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/4 - 1/8

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/4 - 1/8

    The S&P 500 experienced the second worst week in performance since 2011.  For those with short memories, the worst week came about four months ago in late August.   What both these weeks have in common is China which continues to experience financial market woes and, despite their leader’s best efforts, there seems to be no end to the volatility coming out of that part of the world for the foreseeable future. The market action pushed all four S&P 500 related volatility[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Strategy | Jan 7, 2016, 9:40 AM

    Earnings Week of 1/11 - 1/15

    Earnings Week of 1/11 - 1/15

    Next week things start to heat up in the earnings world.  AA reports on Monday which some consider the beginning of earnings season.  INTC and some financials finish out the week.  The numbers below represent three years of stock price reaction history to earnings announcements with the biggest gain, biggest drop, average move (non-directional) and stock price reaction last quarter.

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Jan 6, 2016, 1:22 PM

    Small Caps in Turmoil, Albeit with Lower Anticipated Volatility

    Small Caps in Turmoil, Albeit with Lower Anticipated Volatility

    The Russell 2000 (RUT) is trading at 1094, 15% off all-time highs, and has only closed lower than this level on one occasion (9/29/15) in the past 14+ months. In October of 2014, amidst the worldwide Ebola scare, RUT closed at 1068 and traded as low as 1018. Implied volatility of RUT options however, is rather sanguine despite the selloff in the benchmark Small Cap index. The CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) “measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility implicit in the[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jan 5, 2016, 8:22 AM

    Block Trade Analysis - VXX Bearish and Bullish Trades from Monday

    Block Trade Analysis - VXX Bearish and Bullish Trades from Monday

    Days like yesterday get me searching for volatility oriented option trades.  I found two that caught my eye in the VXX option market and debated which one to discuss in this space.  After about three seconds of internal debate I decided to just talk about both. Both trades occurred in the middle of the day yesterday, one is bearish on VXX while the other benenfits if VXX spikes to the upper 20’s.  First the bearish trade. When VXX was at 21.90 there was a seller of the VXX Jan[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Jan 3, 2016, 9:24 AM

    Five Volatility Market Takeaways from 2015

    Five Volatility Market Takeaways from 2015

    2015 is behind us and the S&P 500 dropped (more than a rounding error) for the first time since 2008.  If you want to put a positive spin on the year you can say with dividends the S&P 500 was higher.  It was a fun year to be a market participant as we experienced some things that could be considered new or at least different relative to recent market history.  Since everyone loves lists, or gets easily sucked into them, here are five takeaways from the volatility markets in[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Dec 20, 2015, 3:30 PM

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 12/14 - 12/18

    Weekly Review - Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 12/14 - 12/18

    Small cap stocks continue to languish relative to large cap stocks for 2015.  The Russell 2000 (RUT) was down 0.23% while the Russell 1000 (RUI) lost 0.35% last week.  RUT is down 6.95% for 2015 while the large cap oriented RUI is down only 2.94%.  It’s going to take a small miracle for RUT to close the gap over the next two holiday shortened weeks. The CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) rebounded relative to VIX last week but finished very close to parity. [...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Trade Ideas | Dec 20, 2015, 10:44 AM

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options - 12/14 - 12/18

    Weekly Review - VIX Futures and Options - 12/14 - 12/18

    VIX gave up 15% last week, despite the S&P 500 losing a little and this index trading in a range of greater than 80 points for the second consecutive week.  Consensus thinking is that with the Fed finally hiking rates a little uncertainty came out of the markets.  Of course Janet Yellen’s press conference was still in full swing when market pundits started discussing when the next potential rate hike may occur. The curve depicting the short dated VIX futures contracts[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Trade Ideas | Dec 19, 2015, 9:46 AM

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/14 - 12/18

    Weekly Review - Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 12/14 - 12/18

    Finally, the Fed raised rates.  I’m reading Ben Bernanke’s book and it is interesting that this was being debated when he was still the chairman.  The equity market loved it and then hated it with the result being a roller coaster of a week.  The VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve was on heightened alert this time last week and returned to normal to end the week.  It is rare, but we seem to have experienced an earnings like volatility crush in SPX volatility[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Dec 1, 2015, 12:00 AM

    Hedge Funds and Volatility-Based Strategies Discussion at RMC Asia

    Hedge Funds and Volatility-Based Strategies Discussion at RMC Asia

    The first post-lunch presentation in Hong Kong was actually a hybrid presentation / discussion panel.  Things started off with the Chairman of Eurekahedge, Satoshi Iwanaga from Eurekahedge which created and calculates four indexes to measure the performance of different volatility oriented strategies.  This segmentation is logical since strategies that focus on volatility can vary greatly in their process. The four CBOE Eurekahedge Volatility Indexes are: CBOE Eurekahedge Short Volatility[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Nov 30, 2015, 9:31 PM

    Volatility and the Allegory of the Prisoner's Dilemma

    Volatility and the Allegory of the Prisoner's Dilemma

    Chris Cole from Artemis Capital delivered a presentation with the title, Volatility and the Allegory of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.  In a nutshell the Prisoner’s Dilemma relates to game theory and explores why two rational individuals might not cooperate even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so. There were three points that Cole wanted to get across during his presentation – Investors are trapped in a Prisoner’s Dilemma Volatility is the only real asset[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Trade Ideas | Nov 30, 2015, 8:03 PM

    Presentation Discussing the Current Volatility Environment at CBOE RMC Asia

    Presentation Discussing the Current Volatility Environment at CBOE RMC Asia

    Buzz Gregory, Equity Derivatives Strategist at Goldman Sachs, delivered a very informative session on VIX and SPX option trading today in Hong Kong.  His speech hit on a topic that was frequently mentioned at RMC Europe a couple of weeks ago, the current shift in volatility regimes. Highlights of Buzz’s presentation include – It was noted that both SPX and VIX option volumes continue to steadily grow with volume experiencing dramatic increases occurring around market events About[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Nov 30, 2015, 1:16 PM

    RMC Asia Day 1 Recap

    RMC Asia Day 1 Recap

    The first day of the inaugural CBOE Risk Management Conference in Asia was jam packed with information that has me with a new ‘to do’ list that’ll keep my spring intern hopping until May. The conference commenced with a primer on VIX delivered by me.  As I said in the original post, it’s a little strange blogging a recap of your own presentation.  I feel a bit like the Rickey Henderson of options if I speak about myself in the third person so I just can’t do[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Nov 30, 2015, 2:28 AM

    Tim Edwards of SPDJI Covers Unique Performance of VIX-Based Benchmark Indices

    Tim Edwards of SPDJI Covers Unique Performance of VIX-Based Benchmark Indices

    At the First Annual CBOE Risk Management Conference (RMC) Asia in Hong Kong, Tim Edwards, Ph. D., Senior Director of Index Investment Strategy, S&P Dow Jones Indices, delivered a presentation on the design and performance of long, short and dynamic VIX-based benchmark indexes, and covered their utility for longer-term investors and shorter-term traders. While many investors are familiar with the price movements of the spot CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), we at CBOE receive many[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Education | Futures | Nov 30, 2015, 12:18 AM

    Primer on Options and Volatility Trading at RMC Asia

    Primer on Options and Volatility Trading at RMC Asia

    The first presentation at the first ever CBOE Risk Management Conference to be held in Asia kicked off with a primer on options and volatility delivered by me.  I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to refer to myself in the third person or err on the side of possibly sounding presumptuous.  I decided to go with the latter. Over the course of 75 minutes I discussed several things that relate to the option market with a focus on volatility and VIX related derivatives.  My presentation[...]

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