VIX Index Hits All-Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14

On November 3 the Cboe Volatility Index® (VIX®) closed at 9.14, an all-time record low for both a daily and weekly closing value for the index.

1 VIX highest lowest 1 VIX Index Hits All Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14 at vixtrade.com

While the news media often focuses on the spot VIX Index, volatility traders analyze the price movements of VIX futures. The prices for VIX futures at the close on November 3 ranged from 10.1 to 16.4.

2 VIX futures Nov 3 VIX Index Hits All Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14 at vixtrade.com

3 VIX Nov 3 VIX Index Hits All Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14 at vixtrade.com

In light of the fact that the VIX Index recently has been well below its long-term average of 19.4, some observers might question whether there might be too much complacency in the markets. However, it is worth noting that the Cboe SKEW Index usually has been well-above its long-term average of 118.6 in recent months. www.cboe.com/skew.

4 SKEW Nov 3 VIX Index Hits All Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14 at vixtrade.com

Investors can learn more about use of VIX futures and options at www.cboe.com/VIX and at upcoming Cboe Risk Management Conferences

  • Cboe RMC Asia. Dec. 5 – 6, 2017   at Conrad Hong Kong  www.cboermcasia.com;
  • Cboe RMC US. March 7 – 9, 2018   at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, FL  cboermcus.com;
  • Cboe RMC Europe. Sept. 12 – 14, 2018 at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry, Ireland www.cboermceurope.com.

 

 VIX Index Hits All Time Daily Closing Low Value of 9.14 at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017

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.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017 at vixtrade.com

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.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017 at vixtrade.com

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.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017 at vixtrade.com

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.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017 at vixtrade.com

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.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/22/2017 at vixtrade.com >

2017 is a Record-Breaking Year for Both SKEW-Over-145 and VIX-Under-10 Values

In recent weeks several news articles have noted that the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) dipped below 10, and have asked if there is an unusual amount of complacency in the markets. The VIX Index closed below 10 on seven straight trading days (an all-time record) from July 13 to July 21. Recent headlines stated (1) “Too calm? Wall Street volatility collapses to lowest since 1993” (by CNBC), and (2) “Dip in volatility stirs warnings about too much complacency” (by Pensions & Investments).

IS THERE TOO MUCH COMPLACENCY IN THE MARKETS?

I believe that an argument could be made that the markets still are concerned about downside risk, and are not completely complacent in 2017, particularly if one looks at the statistics in three charts below: (1) the CBOE SKEW Index already has closed above 145 on 10 days in 2017 (more than any other calendar year); (2) a recent SPX volatility skew chart showed that the implied volatility estimates for many of the out-of-the-money put options ranged from 11 to 27, and (3) a recent VIX futures term structure chart showed VIX futures prices (with expirations at future dates) ranged from 10.35 to 16.

1 Table chart VIX SKEW 2017 is a Record Breaking Year for Both SKEW Over 145 and VIX Under 10 Values at vixtrade.com

CBOE SKEW Index values, which are calculated from weighted strips of out-of-the-money S&P 500 options, rise to higher levels as investors become more fearful of a “black swan” event — an unexpected event of large magnitude and consequence. The value of SKEW increases with the tail risk of S&P 500 returns. If there were no tail risk expectations, SKEW would be equal to 100.

SPX VOLATILITY SKEW CHART – SHOWS DEMAND FOR DOWNSIDE PROTECTION

The volatility skew chart below shows the implied volatility estimates for SPX options at the close on Friday, July 21. On that date the closing values were 2472.54 for the SPX Index, 9.36 for the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) (the second-lowest daily close for the VIX Index), and 134.53 for the CBOE SKEW Index (SKEW). The long-term average daily closing values since January 1990 are 19.5 for the VIX Index and 118.7 for the SKEW Index.

The SPX volatility skew chart below shows:

  • Expirations on 26 upcoming dates in 2017 (including Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and end-of-months) are available for SPX options; and
  • The implied volatility estimates for at-the-money SPX options ranged from around 5 to 12, and the implied volatility estimates for many of the out-of-the-money put options (with strike prices from 2230 to 2404, and that can be used for downside portfolio protection) were often much higher, with a range from around 11 to 27. With the SKEW Index at 134.53, one can expect generally higher implied volatilities for out-of-the-money SPX put options, when compared with at-the-money SPX options.

2 Livevol vol skew SPX 2017 is a Record Breaking Year for Both SKEW Over 145 and VIX Under 10 Values at vixtrade.com

 

VIX FUTURES TERM STRUCTURE – RANGE FROM 10.35 TO 16

The VIX futures term structure chart is upward sloping and shows that the VIX futures prices ranged from 10.35 (for the July 26 expiration) to 16 (for the VIX futures expiring on February 14, 2018).

 3 VIX Term Structure July 23 2017 is a Record Breaking Year for Both SKEW Over 145 and VIX Under 10 Values at vixtrade.com

 

CONCLUSION

In order to gain a better sense of the amount of overall fear or complacency in the markets, analysts and investors can examine and compare many metrics, including the VIX Index, SKEW Index, volatility skew charts, and VIX futures term structure.

Links to more information on the SKEW Index, VIX futures and options, and more than 25 volatility indexes is at www.cboe.com/volatility.

 2017 is a Record Breaking Year for Both SKEW Over 145 and VIX Under 10 Values at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017

As the week came to a close VXST which measures 9-day volatility expectations took a dive.  Hence the big drop on the left side of the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT diagram below.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com

TYVIX finished the week below 4.00 which was a first for 2017, but not outside of the long term historical range.  I checked the market expectations for the next FOMC meeting in late July and right now we have a 100% chance of nothing happening.  That much certainty probably justifies such a low volatility expectation.  Skew worked a little bit higher last week and VVIX was little changed which can be considered indications that there is at least some concern about the future direction of stocks.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com

The long funds continue to experience a dreadful year in 2017 while SVXY will probably be near the top of many mid-year performance charts in a couple of weeks which always brings new (neophyte) investors into this space.  Of course the first 20% pullback will scare many away at what has historically been the best time to purchase a short volatility fund like VMIN, SVXY, or XIV.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com

With a couple of small exceptions the volatility indexes quoted by CBOE were mostly lower last week.  I see no pattern in the mix of indexes that rose so it’s tough to attribute the green changes below to anything other than market randomness..

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com

I guess the trade below is a version of Monday morning quarterbacking (post-expiration perfect trade fitting?).  The only life VIX really experienced last week came on Monday, which also pushed VXX higher for the day.  As the end of the day approached a trader came in and purchased 100 VXX Jun 16 13.50 Puts for 0.40 combined with selling the same number of VXX Jun 16 13.00 Puts for 0.14 and a net cost of 0.26.  I admitted as I started discussing this trade that I was benefiting from hindsight and we can see this trade was perfect based on where VXX closed Friday.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 6/18/2017 at vixtrade.com >

VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery

On June 1st the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) closed at 9.89. June 1st marked only the 14th day on which the VIX Index closed below 10 (its price history begins in 1990). Six of the 14 days on which the VIX Index closed below 10 occurred in 2017 (see Exhibit 1 below for a list of all 14 dates).

In addition, on June 1st the CBOE SKEW Index closed at 124.55, a relatively high level that indicated strong demand for SPX put options that could help protect against a severe downturn in the stock market.

REMARKS AT CFA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

On May 21 through 24 I listened to several outstanding speakers 70th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Speakers’ remarks that were among the most interesting and relevant to me were on the topic of the current levels of volatility and the VIX Index. I found the following volatility comments of two speakers particularly intriguing —

  • In a Q&A session on May 21, Richard H. Thaler, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, answered a question on volatility by noting that the current low level of the VIX Index was the biggest [financial] mystery of our time, in light of the fact that we live in a time of great uncertainty, regardless of one’s political views, and whether or not one is supportive of the program of the current U.S. President. Professor Thaler said we face surprises when we read early morning tweets, and that when animals are afraid, they often freeze up.
  • In her prepared remarks on May 24, Abby Joseph Cohen, CFA, Advisory Director and Senior Investment Strategist, Goldman Sachs & Co., noted that realized volatility for major indices sharply declined following Euro-zone worries in late 2011, but realized volatility is now increasing. In answer to a question about concerns for future volatility, Ms. Cohen said she was even more concerned about the potential for future higher bond market volatility when compared to future equity market volatility.

In addition, minutes from the Federal Reserve in early 2017expressed concern that the low level of implied volatility in equity markets appeared inconsistent with the considerable uncertainty attending the outlook for … policy initiatives …”

VIX INDEX VALUES

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is a measure of market expectations of 30-calendar-day volatility conveyed by S&P 500 Index (SPX) option prices. The VIX White Paper notes that the VIX Index estimates expected volatility by averaging the weighted prices of SPX puts and calls over a wide range of strike prices.  The selected options are out-of-the-money SPX calls and out-of-the-money SPX puts centered around an at-the-money strike price. I recently have heard comments and questions on the topic of why the VIX Index recently has been lower than its long-term average, and I also have been asked if there continues to be interest in hedging of downside risk in stock portfolios. The average of the daily closing values on the VIX Index was 19.7 in the 27 years from 1990 through 2016, but only 11.8 year-to-date in 2017 (through June 1).

EXHIBIT 1 – VIX INDEX CLOSED BELOW 10 ON 14 DATES

1 VIX below 10 14 dates table VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

EXHIBIT 2 – VIX INDEX SINCE 1990

2 VIX line thru June 1 VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

While some commenters point to macroeconomic factors and Fed policies that could impact the levels of VIX, below are three discussion points (re: skew, historic volatility, and term structure) with charts that help better explain the relatively low level of the VIX Index.

HIGH SKEW AND MORE INTEREST IN HEDGING SEVERE DOWNTURNS

While the VIX Index recently has been below its long-term average, there still has been strong demand for use of stock index options to hedge severe downturns in the stock markets.

So far in 2017, there usually has been a relatively high volatility skew for SPX options, in that the implied volatility for the out-of-the-money (O-T-M) SPX put options usually has been much higher than the implied volatility for the at-the-money (A-T-M) SPX options. Bloomberg’s estimates average 30-trading-day implied volatilities for SPX options in 2017 were (through May 25): (1) about 31.7 for SPX options at 80% moneyness (this implied volatility could apply to SPX protective put options that are 20% out-of-the-money), and (2) about 9.2 for SPX options that are at 100% moneyness (or at-the-money).

EXHIBIT 3 – SPX OPTIONS IMPLIED VOLATILITIES – CHART WITH ESTIMATES FROM CBOE LIVEVOL   

3 Vol Skew SPX on June 1 VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

A metric that investors can use to track the relative demand for disaster protection is the CBOE SKEW Index, which is calculated from weighted strips of out-of-the-money S&P 500 options, and rises to higher levels as investors become more fearful of a “black swan” event — an unexpected event of large magnitude and consequence. If there were no tail risk expectations, the SKEW Index would be equal to 100.

EXHIBIT 4 – CBOE SKEW INDEX

4 SKEW thru June 1 VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

The averages of the daily closing values of the SKEW Index were 118.4 in the 27 years from 1990 through 2016, and 134.5 in 2017 (through June 1).

VIX INDEX HAS BEEN HIGHER THAN SPX HISTORIC VOLATILITY

While some people have recently questioned as to how the VIX Index values could be in a “low” range from 9.7 to 12 on most days in the past month, one should note that the historic volatility of the S&P 500 Index recently has been even lower than the VIX. When compared to SPX historic volatility, one could argue that VIX has not necessarily been “low.” The averages of daily closing values in May (through May 30) were 10.9 for the VIX Index, 7.4 for the 30-trading-day historic volatility of the S&P 500 Index, and 4.6 for the TYVIX Index (an index that reflects the expectations of interest rate volatility; in her remarks, Abby Joseph Cohen expressed concern about the possibility for a spike in interest rate volatility).

EXHIBIT 5 – RECENT VOLATILITY SINCE MAY 1ST

 5 VIX HV TYVIX May VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

TERM STRUCTURE – VIX FUTURES PRICES ARE HIGHER THAN VIX SPOT PRICE

For those folks who ask about the “low” level of the VIX Index, one response would be to say that folks are welcome to explore the prices of the tradable VIX futures. As shown in the VIX futures term structure chart below, the quoted prices were 10.59 for the VIX spot index, and the quoted prices for the VIX futures (which are based on the forward values of the VIX Index, and reflect expectations of 30-day volatility at future dates) ranged from 10.90 for the VIX futures expiring on June 7, to 17.40 for the VIX futures expiring on February 14, 2018.

EXHIBIT 6 – VIX TERM STRUCTURE IS IN CONTANGO AND UPWARD-SLOPING

6 VIX Term stuct May 31 VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com

FOUR BENCHMARK INDEXES

For investors who are interested in equity portfolio protection with SPX options at times when price-earnings ratios are relatively high, and the VIX Index is at relatively low levels, four benchmark indexes that could be explored are:

  • CBOE S&P 500 95-110 Collar Index (CLL) – purchases stocks in the S&P 500 index, and each month sells SPX call options at 110% of the index value, and each quarter purchases SPX put options at 95% of the index value. www.cboe.com/CLL
  • CBOE S&P 500 Zero-Cost Put Spread Collar Index (CLLZ) – track the performance of a hypothetical option trading strategy that 1) holds a long position indexed to the S&P 500 Index; 2) on a monthly basis buys a 2.5% – 5% S&P 500 Index (SPX) put option spread; and 3) sells a monthly out-of-the-money (OTM) SPX call option to cover the cost of the put spread. www.cboe.com/CLLZ.
  • CBOE VIX Tail Hedge Index (VXTH) – buys and holds S&P 500 stocks, and also often buys 30-delta call options on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). www.cboe.com/VXTH.
  • CBOE S&P 500 5% Put Protection Index (PPUT) – strategy that holds a long position indexed to the S&P 500 Index and buys a monthly 5% out-of-the-money (OTM) S&P 500 Index (SPX) put option as a hedge. www.cboe.com/PPUT.

CONCLUSION

For people who ask me about the VIX Index recently being much lower than its long-term average, I suggest that they look at the following three factors to gain a fuller picture of implied volatility, and the interest in and costs for hedging strategies –

  • The SPX skew and the related SKEW Index have been relatively high in recent years, and there still is strong demand for hedging severe downside risk;
  • The VIX Index generally has been higher than the historic volatility of the S&P 500 Index in 2017 (using this comparison, one could argue that the VIX has not necessarily been “low”); and
  • While the VIX Index was valued at 10.68 on the morning of May 30, the VIX futures term structure chart showed that most tradable VIX futures were priced higher than the VIX spot index.

 VIX Index Closes Below 10 Again, As Professor Called the VIX Level the Biggest Financial Mystery at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017

This time last week we were all pretty certain that the final round of the French election was a done deal.  Short term SPX implied volatility wasn’t taking any chances with VXST closing last Friday at 11.40.  With the election outcome going as expected VXST got a little crushed and the shape of the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve moved back to contango.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com

Both the S&P 500 and VIX dropped last week, as the number of potential stock market land mines over the next few weeks (that we can see coming) is limited.  VVIX inched up a bit as some traders took advantage of low VIX option IV to get long volatility exposure.  SKEW moved lower which is interesting with VIX so close to 10.00.  It may just be that no one is worried about a black swan any times soon, which of course by definition is when they happen.  A glimmer of hope for the longer term VIX bulls shows up in the performance of VXZ which is based on owning a basket of August, September, October, and November VIX futures contracts.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com

Of great interest on the table below is the move higher in both VXAPL and VXIBM.  Apparently, Warren Buffett has been adding to his AAPL position and scaling back his IBM holdings which may have sparked option trading after last weekend’s Berkshire get together in Omaha.  Apparently the call buying was aggressive enough in the AAPL arena that the skew for AAPL options was higher on the call side than the put side to start last week.  VXMT moved higher, which mirrors the move in VXZ above, which may make one wonder if the market is focusing on the fourth quarter of 2017 as the latest at which we will expect lower stock prices.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com

 

For the mean time, long volatility continues to take it on the chin as both VXX and UVXY moved lower.  SVXY benefits from what is bad for the long funds and now is up almost 70% for 2017.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com

I went searching the ETP option world for a very bullish trade to discuss this weekend.  When things are so quiet as represented by VIX, but at the same time there seem to be multiple geopolitical situations that could erupt at any moment some traders will be looking for a cheap method to be on the right side of a volatility spike.  UVXY call options are a great place to find such a trade and I didn’t have to look to hard to find a good one.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com

On Friday afternoon with UVXY around 12.55 a trader purchased the UVXY Jun 9th 12.50 Calls for 1.26 and then sold the UVXY Jun 9th 21.00 Calls at 0.31 for a net cost of 0.95.  The payoff at Jun 9th expiration shows up below, although a quick volatility event would probably result in our trader monetizing some profits.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 5/14/2017 at vixtrade.com >

CBOE SKEW Index Rises to 141.41, with Increased Demand for Portfolio Protection

FEB. 16, 2017 – Today the CBOE SKEW Index rose to 141.41, its highest level this month, and its 25th highest value since January 1990. With U.S. stock market indexes recently hitting all-time highs, there is quite a bit investor uncertainty about the markets and there is high demand for protection from large market declines. In the 27 years from 1990 through 2016, the average daily level for the SKEW Index was 118.4, and the average level of SKEW never topped 130 in any of those 27 years. In the year 2017 (through February 16) the average daily level of the SKEW Index was a relatively high 132.2, which could indicate increased relative demand for use of out-of-the-money SPX put options for portfolio protection.

1 SKEW since 1990 Feb 16 CBOE SKEW Index Rises to 141.41, with Increased Demand for Portfolio Protection at vixtrade.com

2 SKEW thru Feb 16 CBOE SKEW Index Rises to 141.41, with Increased Demand for Portfolio Protection at vixtrade.com

CBOE SKEW Index values, which are calculated from weighted strips of out-of-the-money S&P 500 options, rise to higher levels as investors become more fearful of a “black swan” event — an unexpected event of large magnitude and consequence. The value of SKEW increases with the expected tail risk of S&P 500 returns. If there were no tail risk expectations, SKEW would be equal to 100. Historically, SKEW has varied in a range of 100 to 147 around an average value of 115.

The FAQ on the CBOE SKEW Index notes that –

“The price of S&P 500 skewness is inconvenient to use directly as an index because it is typically a small negative number, for example -.8, -2.3, or -4.3. SKEW converts this price as follows: SKEW = 100 – 10 * price of skewness. With this definition, a price of -2.1 translates to a SKEW value of 121. S&P 500 options with 30 days to expiration are generally unavailable. SKEW is therefore interpolated from two “SKEW” values at the maturities of nearby and second nearby options with at least 8 days left to expiration.”

For more information please visit www.cboe.com/SKEW.

 CBOE SKEW Index Rises to 141.41, with Increased Demand for Portfolio Protection at vixtrade.com >

Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six-Month High – By Matt Moran

JAN. 18, 2017 – Today the CBOE SKEW Index (SKEW) closed at 143.43, its highest value since June 2016. CBOE SKEW Index values, which are calculated from weighted strips of out-of-the-money S&P 500 options, rise to higher levels as investors become more fearful of a “black swan” event — an unexpected event of large magnitude and consequence.

The value of SKEW increases with the tail risk of S&P 500 returns. If there were no tail risk expectations, SKEW would be equal to 100.

SKEW Jan 18 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

The FAQ on the SKEW Index notes that –

“The price of S&P 500 skewness is inconvenient to use directly as an index because it is typically a small negative number, for example -.8, -2.3, or -4.3. SKEW converts this price as follows: SKEW = 100 – 10 * price of skewness.  With this definition, a price of -2.1 translates to a SKEW value of 121. S&P 500 options with 30 days to expiration are generally unavailable. SKEW is therefore interpolated from two “SKEW” values at the maturities of nearby and second nearby options with at least 8 days left to expiration.”

HIGHER SKEW VALUES IN RECENT YEARS

The average value of SKEW (since the beginning of its data history in 1990) has been 118.4. Prior to 2014, the highest average daily closing value in a year for the SKEW Index was 122.5, but in each of the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and year-to-date 2017, the average daily closing level for the SKEW Index was 127.5 or higher.

 SKEW since 1990 through Jan 18 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

30 ½ YEARS — BENCHMARK INDEXES AND SPX PUT OPTIONS

For investors who wish to learn more about hypothetical long-term performance of strategies that use index options, CBOE provides more than 30 strategy benchmark indexes. Note in the two charts below that the left tail risk was higher for the S&P 500 Index than it was for two indexes that use SPX put options – the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) sells cash-secured SPX options, while the CBOE S&P 500 5% Put Protection Index (PPUT) buys out-of-the-money protective put options on the SPX Index.

3 PUT Histogram Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

4 PPUT Histogram Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on skew and use of options for protection and income, please visit www.cboe.com/SKEW and www.cboe.com/benchmarks.

 Demand for Disaster Protection Increases as CBOE SKEW Index Hits a Six Month High – By Matt Moran at vixtrade.com >

20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre-Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55%

Dozens of worldwide volatility indexes can serve as valuable tools for investors who wish to gauge intraday and long-term sentiment changes related to a variety of asset classes. In addition, investors take long and short positions in futures and options on key volatility indexes.

The tables and seven graphs below provide an overview of the 2016 performance of 20 volatility indexes and the CBOE SKEW Index. Key points regarding volatility indexes in 2016 include the following:

  • There were some big moves in volatility indexes around the June 24 Brexit vote and the November 8 U.S. election.
  • New all-time daily trading volume records for futures on the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) during Extended Trading Hours (non-U.S. hours from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.) were set on June 24 (235,141 contracts) and again on November 9 (263,663 contracts).
  • The prices for VIX futures rose 55% over a 140-minute period on the night of November 8 (see Exhibit 2 below).
  • The daily closing values of the CBOE/CME FX British Pound Volatility Index (BPVIX) rose from 7.72 on Jan. 8th, to 29.10 on June 14th, a rise of 277% (see Exhibit 3 below). Implied volatility on the British pound was one of the financial markets’ biggest major movers in the months leading up to the Brexit vote (see Exhibit 3 below).
  • While the average daily closing value of the VIX Index in 2016 was 15.8 (below its long-term average of 19.7 since 1990), the average daily closing value of the CBOE SKEW Index was 127.6 (the second highest level among all its 27 years since 1990). These numbers could indicate that demand for hedging with deeper out-of-the-money S&P 500® (SPX) protective puts options could have been stronger in 2016.

VIX INDEX AND THE EXPECTED VOLATILITY OF THE S&P 500 INDEX

The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX® Index) is a leading measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 Index (SPX) option prices.

In 2016 the daily closing values of the VIX ranged from 11.27 to 28.14, and the VIX rose a record ninth straight trading day on November 4 (prior to the U.S. election).

VVw1 VIX SPX 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

VIX FUTURES ON NOVEMBER 8 AND 9

On the November 8 Tuesday election night in the United States, the reported prices for the November futures on the VIX Index rose from a low of 15.10 at 8:07 p.m. E.T., to a high of 23.46 at 10:27 p.m. E.T., a rise of 55% over a 140-minute period (source: Bloomberg). Reported volume for VIX futures during non-U.S. trading hours was an all-time record of 263,663 contracts during the November 9 trading session (which technically began at 3:30 p.m. C.T. the day before. www.cboe.com/ETH).  On Wednesday morning, the price of the VIX Nov. futures fell below 16, as a story at cbsnews.com noted that “Conciliatory comments from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the aftermath of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton helped global stock markets erase a large chunk of their earlier losses Wednesday.”

 V 2 VIX Futures on Nov 8 9 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

CURRENCY AND INTEREST RATE VOLATILITY

While average daily close for the BPVIX Index was 12.0 in 2016, the BPVIX Index soared to 29.1 on June 14, prior to the Brexit vote.  Futures on the CBOE/CBOT 10-year U.S. Treasury Note Volatility Index (TYVIX) are available, and some observers believe that interest rate volatility could soar in 2017.

V 3 Curr Int Rate Vola in 2016 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

COMMODITY VOLATILITY INDEXES IN 2016

In 2016 the CBOE Crude Oil ETF Volatility Index (OVX) hit a daily closing value peak of 78.97 on February 12, and it closed the year at 30.83.

V 4 Commodity Volatility 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

WORLDWIDE VOLATILITY INDEXES IN 2016

In 2016 the peak daily closing values were 37.99 for the HIS Volatility Index (Hong Kong) and 39.90 for the EuroSTOXX 50 Volatility Index.

VVw5 Global Vola 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

VOLATILITY ON SINGLE STOCKS

In 2016 the average daily closing values were 30.9 for the VXAZN Index, 23.6 for the VXGOG Index, and 25.3 for the VXAPL Index. Exhibit 6 shows that the VXAZN Index had some big moves, and that the earnings announcement dates for Amazon in 2016 were on January 28, April 28, July 28, and October 27.

V 6 Vol Stocks 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

SKEW, VVIX AND VIX INDEXES

In 2016 the highest daily closing values were 153.66 for the CBOE SKEW Index on June 28, and 125.13 for the CBOE VIX of VIX Index (VVIX) on June 24. Both indexes hit relatively high levels around the June 24 Brexit vote and the November 8 U.S. election, as there was uncertainty as to how these events might impact equity markets.

V 7 SKEW VVIX 2016 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com

BENCHMARK INDEXES

The volatility indexes above are designed to primarily serve as gauges for market expectations of future volatility, and are not meant to show investable performance.

For those investors who would like to explore the possibility of investing in VIX futures and options, there are certain benchmark indexes that are designed to show the potential for investable performance for certain strategies that use VIX futures or VIX options. Here are the 2016 changes for a sampling of the many benchmarks that use VIX futures or VIX options –

  • 28.8%               S&P 500 VIX Futures Term-Structure Index TR
  • 25.2%               VPD – CBOE VIX Premium Strategy Index
  • 23.0%               VPN – CBOE Capped VIX Premium Strategy Index
  • 8.3%                 S&P 500 Dynamic VIX Futures Index TR
  • 1.1%                 VSTG – CBOE VIX Strangle Index
  • 1.0%                 VXTH – CBOE VIX Tail Hedge Index
  • 0.1%                 S&P 500 Dynamic VEQTOR Index TR
  • -28.3%              S&P 500 VIX Futures Tail Risk Index TR – Short Term

To learn more about the CBOE benchmark indexes, please visit www.cboe.com./benchmarks, and read closely the related disclosures and disclaimers. Past performance is not predictive of future returns.

MORE INFORMATION ON VOLATILITY INDEXES

Please visit www.cboe.com/volatility for links to information on more than 25 volatility indexes, strategies and a bibliography.

 20 Volatility Indexes in 2016: BPVIX Rose 277% Pre Brexit, and On Election Night VIX Futures Rose 55% at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/3/2016

In hindsight volatility definitely overshot to the upside in response to Brexit and the price action on Monday where VIX and the S&P 500 both moved lower together was a sign of things to come last week. The 42.66% drop in VIX was the biggest week over week drop on record (going back to 1990). The whole VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT underwent a shift from one extreme to the other last week.

VXST VIX VXV VXMT Curve Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/3/2016 at vixtrade.com

SKEW put in an all-time high and then backed off to more normal levels. TYVIX also had a pretty big drop as the mind of the global financial markets shifted from end of the world back to normal mode. The one volatility index on the table below that remains at a cautious level is VVIX. Do not discount the elevated VVIX level as an outlier as the VIX of VIX has done a good job of being a leading indicator for market volatility for several months now.

VXX Table Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/3/2016 at vixtrade.com

Finally, in the ETP space, last week VXX gave up 20%, UVXY almost doubled that, and SVXY rose over 17%. It just took a week, but SVXY is back to green for 2016, however so slightly.

VXX SVXY UVXY Chart Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/3/2016 at vixtrade.com

 Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/3/2016 at vixtrade.com >