Fed Survey Touches on Equity Volatility Instrument Usage

Every three months the Federal Reserve conducts a survey titled, “The Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey on Dealer Financing Terms”.  This report comes in summary form as well as specific responses to 79 questions that are asked each quarter.  Periodically there are some extra questions placed at the end of the survey, needless to say the academic in me got pretty excited when I saw questions 81 through 89 were titled Special Questions on Client Trading in Equity Volatility Products.

As a precursor to the results it was noted that volatility has been low and that the financial press has been reporting that investors that may have been net long volatility were now net short.  The volatility oriented questions were divided into two general types.  There were four questions about the use of volatility by client types (Hedge Funds, Exchange Traded Products, Mutual Funds, Pension Plans, Insurance Companies, Separately Managed Accounts, and Non-Financial Corporations).  The remained of the questions touched on counterparty exposure and instruments used by clients to take positions with respect to equity volatility.

Some things I found interesting in this report include:

  • There was a question about the relative use of volatility across all types of investors.  The majority of firms responded that the number of clients using volatility has remained steady over the past couple of years.  However, mutual funds and hedge funds use of volatility in their investment strategies has been growing.
  • A significant question was, “On net, how are your clients positioned for a sustained increase in volatility?”  Half the responses stated that most clients are net long or more clients are net long that net short in the hedge funds space.  22.2% of responses stated that more clients are net short than net long volatility in the hedge fund area.   Across all firm types the responses favored long volatility versus short volatility.  The belief of the popular press that short volatility is a ‘crowded trade’ may require a second look after seeing the Fed survey results.
  • In product usage VIX futures and options scored higher than the VIX related ETPs as the instrument of choice for hedge funds to gain exposure to equity volatility.  However, the most heavily used instrument is exchange traded equity options which may reflect the preference of hedge funds to focus on individual stocks.

There’s a lot more to this report and I could spend all day slicing and dicing the numbers.  If you want to dive into all the questions about volatility the full report can be found at https://www.federalreserve.gov/data/scoos/scoos_201709.htm

 Fed Survey Touches on Equity Volatility Instrument Usage at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017

VIX remains at low levels and the curve continues to be steep as the volatility markets appear to be braced for ‘something’.  That something is probably an unknown unknown that will shock some very complacent markets.

 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com

An interesting VIX trade caught my eye on Friday as it were a little different than most of the trades I’ve come across.  First the trade details and then a little color about that trade.  Friday morning, with VIX around 9.50, there was a buyer of about 16,000 VIX Oct 11th 21 Calls for 0.10 who sold about 8,000 VIX Nov 1st 16 Calls for 0.60 each.  This results in a net credit of 0.40 for each ratio diagonal spread.  Also, worth pointing out is that both legs are in VIX Weeklys and not standard expirations.  The payout scenarios are infinite so I’m just going to show a couple before expiration along with how things work out if all options expire with no value.

In order to guesstimate (that’s the accurate word here) where this trade might be next Friday I have to assume how the October 11th and November 1st VIX curves would reaction to a move higher from VIX.  This first payoff diagram assumes a flattening of the curve if VIX moves up to 15 and then an inversion of the prices if VIX moves higher.

 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com

Based on the curve assumptions above the profit or loss for this trade based on various VIX levels on Friday October 6th.  Note the unrealized P/L is negative anywhere from 10 up to the low 20’s.

 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com

The payout for October 11th settlement is my second guesstimate for the progression of this trade.  Once again, the short leg is holding up well which keeps this from being much of a profit unless we have a huge pop in volatility.

 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com

Finally, I take things to November 1st expiration assuming that the long and short legs of this trade expire out of the money at the two expiration dates.  Basically, it is a picture of being short the Nov 1st 16 Calls at 0.40.  We have to guess the trader behind this spread is hoping to catch a small volatility spike, trade out of the long leg taking in some more premium and then hold into November 1st settlement with the expectation that the settlement print will come in below 16.00.
VIX PO 3 09292017 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com

 Weekend Review – VIX Futures and Options – 10/1/2017 at vixtrade.com >

Large Buyer of VIX Calls Today at CBOE

Another big bullish VIX trade came into the pit today, with VIX just over 10.00 and the October futures at 12.20, a buyer of about 100,000 VIX Oct 17 Calls came into the market paying 0.45 for the whole lot.  The trade got divided up around the pit in several pieces, which shows up in the time and sales from LiveVol below.

 Large Buyer of VIX Calls Today at CBOE at vixtrade.com

There’s just under 3 weeks October 18th when these options settle on the market open so the buyer is either speculating on a volatility spike, or guarding against one using long VIX exposure as a hedge.   The comment I heard in the VIX pit was, “This seems a little unusual”, probably as most long volatility plays come in the form of a spread to lower the cost of the trade.   Either way, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the 17 line for the next few weeks.

 Large Buyer of VIX Calls Today at CBOE at vixtrade.com >

New Daily Volume Record of 2.61 Million for VIX Options, as Investors Engage in Hedging and in Short VIX Futures

On September 25th a new daily volume record of 2.61 million contracts was set for options on the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), as the VIX Index rose 6.5% to close at 10.21 that day.

TOP TEN VOLUME DAYS FOR VIX OPTIONS

Four of the top ten days for VIX options volume occurred in 2017.

1 Top 10 VIX op volume New Daily Volume Record of 2.61 Million for VIX Options, as Investors Engage in Hedging and in Short VIX Futures at vixtrade.com

NEWS COVERAGE OF TRADING ACTIVITY IN VIX OPTIONS AND VIX FUTURES

Recent news coverage has highlighted investor use of both VIX options and VIX futures.

A September 25 news story in Reuters entitled “VIX options volume jumps as trader hedges against stock market sell-off” noted that –

“ …More than 2 million contracts changed hands in a spread trade, the largest ever in VIX options, according to Trade Alert data. A trader bought about 261,000 Oct. 12 puts and sold the same number of Oct. 15 calls and twice as many of the Oct. 25 calls. At the same time, the trader sold 261,000 Dec. 12 puts and twice as many Dec. 25 calls, to buy 261,000 Dec. 15 calls. … The net effect of the trade was to position the trader for a lift in the VIX to the 15-20 level by December. …”

A September 25 Moneybeat blog at wsj.com entitled “Back in Vogue: Betting on the VIX to Fall” noted that —

“ …Hedge funds and other speculative investors ramped up bearish bets on the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, to the most in over a month, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Net bearish bets on the VIX outnumbered bullish bets by the group by 96,601 contracts for the week ending Sept. 19. Those investors had 70% more short bets than long bets on the index for the week ending Sept. 19. … “

PRICE CHART – VVIX AND VIX INDEXES

For purposes of analyzing trading activity in VIX options, the CBOE VIX of VIX Index (ticker VVIX) can serve as a useful metric because it is a measure of the market’s expectations and is an indicator of the expected volatility of the 30-day forward price of the VIX.

Over the past decade, the average daily closing values were 87.7 for the VVIX Index and 20.4 for the VIX Index. However, more recently, (as shown in the chart below), from August 25 through September 25, the average daily closing values were 11.3 for the VIX Index and 96.8 for the VVIX Index.

2 VVIX VIX Sep 25 New Daily Volume Record of 2.61 Million for VIX Options, as Investors Engage in Hedging and in Short VIX Futures at vixtrade.com

 MORE INFORMATION

To access price charts and price history for the VIX and VVIX indexes, and to learn more about use of VIX futures and options for your portfolio, please visit www.cboe.com/VIX and www.cboe.com/volatility.

 New Daily Volume Record of 2.61 Million for VIX Options, as Investors Engage in Hedging and in Short VIX Futures at vixtrade.com >

Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month

Despite the fact that the average daily closing value of the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) is about 11.5 so far this year, VIX futures and options both had record days for volume and for open interest this month.

OPEN INTEREST RECORDS. VIX futures hit a new record for open interest with more than 673,000 contracts on August 7, and VIX options reached a new record for open interest with 14,783,380 contracts open on August 15. V1 Open Int VIX Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month at vixtrade.com

VOLUME RECORDS. August 10 was an all-time record volume day for both VIX futures (volume of 942,109 contacts) and for VIX options (volume of 2,538,121 contracts). V2 VIX fut opt volume Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month at vixtrade.com

 IS THE VIX INDEX “TOO LOW”? SPX HISTORIC VOLATILITY HAS BEEN EVEN LOWER; THERE STILL IS A VOLATILITY RISK PREMIUM

This year many financial professionals have raised the issue as to whether the VIX level appears to be “low” compared to the levels of worldwide financial insecurity.  At the 70th CFA Institute Annual Conference in May 2017, Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago opined that the “low” level of the VIX Index was one of the biggest financial mysteries of our time. As shown in the chart below, in 2017 the averages of the daily levels were 11.5 for the VIX Index and only 7.1 for the 30-trading-day historic volatility of the S&P 500 Index. Compared to the SPX historic volatility, the VIX Index has not necessarily been “low” this year.

V3 Vol Risk Prem 1 Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month at vixtrade.com

The fact that the VIX Index has been higher than SPX historic and realized volatility means that there has been a volatility risk premium. Some professional money managers who consistently sell index options like to see the volatility risk premium. Benchmark indexes that take advantage of the volatility risk premium (such as the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) and the CBOE S&P 500 30-Delta BuyWrite Index (BXMD)) generated relatively strong risk-adjusted returns over three decades, according to a research paper by Wilshire – Three Decades of Options-Based Benchmark Indices with Premium Selling or Buying: A Performance Analysis (2016).

HIGH DEMAND FOR DISASTER PROTECTION – CBOE SKEW INDEX AND VOLATILITY SKEW CHART

Demand for disaster protection using index options has been high this year. Note in the volatility skew chart below that the implied volatility was highest for the out-of-the-money VIX calls (at 120% moneyness) and the out-of-the money SPX puts (at 80% moneyness)

V4 Volatility skew Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month at vixtrade.com

On August 18 I posted a blog on the CBOE SKEW Index that noted “The long-term daily average for the SKEW Index (since January 1990) is 118.8, but the daily average for the SKEW Index in 2017 (through August 17) is a much higher 134.5. …”

An August 24 story in the Financial Times noted that –

“Investors seek more protection against risk of a Wall St plunge A gauge that tracks hedging against a fall in US stocks is near a record level …       The CBOE SKEW index, which is meant to reflect concern about “tail risk”, or events roiling the markets, rose to 148.62 last week, its third highest reading … “

MORE INFORMATION ON VIX FUTURES AND OPTIONS

To learn more about ways in which the powerful VIX futures and options can be used for portfolio management, please visit www.cboe.com/VIX.

 

 

 Record Days for VIX Futures and Options Volume and Open Interest This Month at vixtrade.com >

New Single-day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4%

An August 10 press release by CBOE Holdings stated that —

“ … trading volume in options and futures on the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) each reached new all-time highs on Thursday, August 10. In VIX options at CBOE, a reported 2,562,477 contracts traded on Thursday, surpassing the previous single-day record of 2,382,752 contracts on February 3, 2014. Year-to-date through the end of July, average daily volume in VIX options was 687,181 contracts, 11 percent ahead of the same period a year ago. In VIX futures at CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE), a reported 939,297 contracts traded on Thursday, surpassing the previous single-day record of 791,788 contracts on October 15, 2014. Of the 10 busiest trading days of all-time for VIX futures, four have occurred in 2017. Year-to-date through the end of July, average daily volume in VIX futures was 283,342 contracts, 20 percent ahead of the same period a year ago.”

A story posted at nytimes.com noted that —

“… After a record-breaking run of buoyant market behavior, investors appeared unnerved on Thursday by a series of provocative remarks by President Trump and increasing tensions with North Korea. …”

BIGGEST ONE-DAY MOVES FOR VIX INDEX

On August 10 the VIX Index jumped 44.4% to close at 16.04. The move was the ninth-biggest one-day move (in percentage terms) for the VIX Index. Note that in the table below with ten dates that the S&P 500 Index fell farther than the CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Index (PUT) on all ten dates, and that option-writing strategies often are designed to provide a cushion in the event of a downward move in the stock index.

 2 Biggest Moves VIX Table Aug 10 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

 

OTHER VOLATILITY INDEXES ALSO ROSE ON AUGUST 10

As shown in the next table, several other volatility indexes also rose on August 10, including the CBOE Equity VIX on Apple (VXAPL) (up 22.4%) and the CBOE VIX of VIX Index (VVIX) (up 26.7%).

2Views Table indexes Aug 10 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

RECORD OPEN INTEREST FOR VIX FUTURES

In addition to this month’s single-day volume records, the VIX futures set another new record with more than 675,000 open interest. VIX futures open interest has more than doubled since January 2016. I find it interesting to examine the table below with its comparison of VIX futures open interest and VIX Index values. While some observers assume that high volatility levels are  associated with high volume and open interest figures, in the chart it appears that at times VIX futures open interest increased when the VIX Index was well below its long-term average levels.

 4 VIX Fut Open interest and VIX index New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

VIX FUTURES PRICES

While there is much press coverage of movements of the spot VIX Index, the index is not investable. Investors who are interested in VIX-related investable instruments can explore the pricing of VIX futures. The table below shows that the last prices for VIX futures with 14 different expiration dates ranged from 14.75 to 17.45 at around 7:05 p.m. Chicago time on August 10.

VIX fut table New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com

MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about how VIX futures and VIX options can help in the management of portfolios, please visit www.cboe.com/VIX.

 

 

 New Single day Volume Records for VIX Futures and VIX Options, as the VIX Index Rises 44.4% at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017

On a week over week basis the S&P 500 was down fractionally.  One would not assume such a small move from SPX when looking at the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve below.  VXST and VIX made nice moves to the upside while the longer end of the curve moved up a bit less resulting in a slight flattening of the curve.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com
The long funds that focus on the first and second month futures were up slightly while the short funds were down slightly.  SKEW and VVIX both moved up nicely last week which should be encouraging for volatility bulls or equity market bears.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

The three funds that represent long (VXX), daily double long (UVXY), and daily short (SVXY) have had very divergent performance this year and last week didn’t really change much on the year to day performance below.  SVXY did manage to top up 100% early in the week before falling off a bit.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

The majority of volatility indexes quoted by CBOE were higher last week.  If it weren’t for earnings from GOOG, IBM, and AMZN which resulted in a volatility crush in options on those stocks there would probably be more green on the table below.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

 

Early Thursday, before volatility finally started to get moving someone came in and bought a large number of out of the money VXX calls with an outlook that appears to hope for an overdue volatility spike between now and September 15th.  With VXX at 11.00 they purchased just over 2500 of the VXX Sep 15th 15 Calls for 0.34.  Note about a 40% move is needed for this trade to break-even at expiration, for most markets that’s unheard of, but not in the volatility world.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/30/2017

This past week is one of those weeks where those new to VIX futures get a lesson in price behavior and the lack of fair value that exists between the futures and the spot index.  VIX rose almost 10% on the week, the August contract was unchanged and the rest of the curve actually moved lower.  The curve had been steep and the result was futures not budging too much when VIX got moving to the upside.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

As we enter the last five months of the year I would like to highlight where we are compared to VIX history going back to 1990.  Below is a chart showing the high, low and average close by year for the full history of VIX.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

We have been fixated on putting in a new all-time closing low (9.31 in 1993), which has not happened.   However, the average closing price for VIX in 2017 is 11.39 which is a full point below the average closing low for VIX that occurred in 1995.  In order to avoid 2017 having the lowest VIX average close on record we need to average about 13.74 over the remaining 107 trading days this year.  That would involve a pretty sustained volatility event considering how quickly VIX drops after any sort of strength these days.  I’m not saying it is going to happen, I’m just pointing out what has to happen.

Finally, with an hour to go in the trading day on Thursday one trader came in who does not think VIX is going anywhere above 13.00 over the next few weeks.  With VIX at 10.80 and the September contract at 12.80 there was a seller of the VIX Sep 13.00 Calls for 1.42 who then purchased the VIX Sep 20 Calls for 0.56 taking in a net credit of 0.86.  The payoff at September 20thAM settlement shows up below.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/30/2017 at vixtrade.com

Of course, the goal is for standard September VIX contracts to settle below 13.00, but anywhere under 13.86 would result in at least a partial profit.  Of the 144 trading days, we’ve experienced in 2017 only 11 have had closed over 13.86, so at least based on recent history this may be a smart trade.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/30/2017 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 VIX Futures and Options – 7/23/2017

VIX closed Friday a tad shy of an all-time low while the S&P 500 continues to push higher having gained just over ½ a percent last week.  The curve below does appear steep, but the context of VIX being so low should be taken into account.
 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

One trader came into the VIX pit mid-day on Friday with what could be considered a massive trade.  With VIX at 9.76 and the standard October contract at 13.70 someone came in with a three-leg bullish trade on VIX.  They sold 262,441 VIX Oct 12 Puts for 0.75, purchased 262,441 VIX Oct 15 Calls for 1.45 and then finished things up with a sale of 524,882 VIX Oct 25 Calls at 0.45.  The result is a spread that is short 1 12 put, long 1 15 call and then short 2 25 calls for a net credit of 0.20.  The payoff below depicts this trade at October expiration along with an assumption of how this would work based on different October VIX futures pricing half way to expiration.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

Note the purple line and how it basically returns some sort of profit between the current October VIX future level and about 33.00.  Of course, there are assumptions about IV, etc, that go into the half-way to expiration line, but it shows that this trader got some long VIX exposure while taking in a credit that pays off if we get even a minor volatility event between now and October expiration.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017

VIX finished the week just off all-time lows and the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve shifted lower.  This is a result of realized volatility for S&P 500 price action remaining low and there not appearing to be any speed bumps on the horizon for the financial markets.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

VVIX dipped below 80.00 to finish the week and TYVIX is near all-time lows despite there being an FOMC meeting this Wednesday.  The long funds continue to suffer (discussed a little more shortly) and the short funds are having nothing short of a stellar year.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

To be specific SVXY is now up 99.96% for the year.  I know that rounds to 100.0%, but since it fell short of a double I rounded down this week.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

GS and IBM reported earnings last week and their presence at the bottom of the table below is a result of a post earnings volatility crush.  Note GOOG, AAPL, and AMZN are near the top of the table as they are yet to report.  The rise in VXN may also be attributed to earnings as just a handful of stocks contribute to a big portion of price action in the Nasdaq-100.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

We know the long VIX related ETPs tend to move down over time.  Apparently, someone decided that this sort of behavior was going to kick in between the open and the close on Friday for UVXY.  Two seconds into the day on Friday someone sold 200 UVXY Jul 21st 30 Calls for 0.80 and purchased 200 UVXY UVXY Jul 21st 34 Calls for 0.25 taking in a net credit of 0.65.  The payoff on the close yesterday appears below.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com

Note that this trade worked out quite well with UVXY finishing the day at 29.79 and both options expiring with no value.  I was webcasting last week and got a question about selling options on the Friday of expiration, this is a bit of a deviation of that sort of activity, but a deviation that worked pretty well.

 Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 7/23/2017 at vixtrade.com >

Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/16/2017

VIX finished the week at the lowest close since 1993, but the two lower closes came during a holiday week so I’m considering consulting with other VIX watchers with respect to if this is basically an all-time low.  Note the dramatic move in the July contract that goes off the board on the open Monday.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/16/2017 at vixtrade.com

The most exciting activity we got from VIX came around lunchtime on Tuesday.  Many traders may have miss VIX running to the mid-11’s and the July contract trading around 12.50.  At least one nimble trader pulled themselves away from Amazon Prime day shopping and caught a good purchase in VIX Put options.  They managed to buy the VIX Jul 19th 14.00 Puts for 1.80.  With VIX around 11.50 this trade had a break-even just above the spot index with just over a week to go until expiration.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/16/2017 at vixtrade.com

This trade looked pretty good as of Friday with VIX down at 9.51 and the July contract finishing about a point higher.  The bid side on the close for this option was 3.40 for a potentially unrealized gain of 1.60.

 Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 7/16/2017 at vixtrade.com >