VIX Weeklys futures began trading at Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE®) on July 23, 2015. VIX Weeklys options began trading at Cboe Options Exchange (Cboe®) on Thursday, October 8, 2015.
In 2005, Cboe® pioneered the short term options space by introducing the first weekly expiring options contract. Except for more frequent expiration dates, Weeklys generally have the same contract specifications as monthly expiring contracts. Weekly options traded on Cboe have become extremely popular with investors. For example, SPX Weeklys currently represent approximately 30% of all SPX options volume.
New weekly expirations for VIX futures and options are listed on Thursdays (excluding holidays) and expire on Wednesdays. Cboe and CFE may list up to six consecutive weekly expirations for VIX futures and options.
The addition of weekly expirations to standard monthly futures and options expirations offers volatility exposures that more precisely track the performance of the VIX Index. The closer VIX futures and options are to expiration, the more closely they generally track the VIX Index. By 'filling the gaps' between monthly expirations, investors may obtain new opportunities to establish short-term VIX positions, and fine-tune the timing of their hedging and trading activities.
Weeklys VIX futures and options on VIX are a different product from previously listed futures and options on the VXSTSM Index, the Cboe Short-Term Volatility IndexSM. The VIX Index measures a 30-day period of implied volatility while the VXST Index provides a gauge of 9-day implied volatility. Importantly, quotes on VIX Weeklys are listed within VIX futures and options chains.