Tag Archives: VIX

Why the Volatility Spike is the Low Volatility Strategy’s Best Friend

The first half of 2019 saw one of the biggest rallies in the domestic market; the S&P 500® rose 18.54% on a total return basis despite concerns of slow economic growth, a trade war, and a possible rate hike. During the same period, the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index surprised the market and rose even Read more […]

Implied Plunge Protection

Ever since its formation in response to the “Black Monday” crash of October 1987, the United States “Working Group on Financial Markets” has been accompanied by (persistently-denied) rumours that the group used government funding to make large equity purchases whenever the market fell – giving rise to its informal moniker of the “Plunge Protection Team”.  Read more […]

Musings of a Market Commentator

The S&P DJI index strategy team has for several years produced a variety of monthly and quarterly index dashboards.  Earlier this year, we began to provide a daily summary of what S&P DJI indices and research are telling us about the markets on a day-to-day basis.  (The summary is e-mailed daily to subscribers; see the Read more […]

Growth in Use of S&P 500 Options at Cboe Over 35 Years

Thirty-five years ago, on July 1, 1983, Cboe® launched SEC-regulated S&P 500® (SPX) index options with posted volume of 350 contracts. Since 1983 there has been tremendous growth in SPX options volume, as many individual and institutional investors now use the contracts for purposes such as portfolio management, hedging, and income generation. Below are five Read more […]

A new volatility regime? VIX® don’t think so!

Global equity markets experienced a challenging February.  A U.S.-led selloff triggered a spike in volatility; the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) recorded its largest ever daily increase on February 5 to reach its highest level since August 2015. But is higher volatility here to stay? Towards the end of last year, we published a paper – Read more […]

Decomposing Recent Volatility Events Part 2

In my previous blog, we compared a daily inverse index to a “true short” and discussed the increasing vega exposure in the S&P 500® VIX® Short Term Futures Inverse Daily Index over the past couple of years. In this blog, we analyze how the mechanics of a VIX futures index, a low volatility environment, and Read more […]

Decomposing Recent Volatility Events Part 1

After a strong January 2018, the U.S. equity market started February with a roller coaster ride. The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®), which has been relatively quiet over the past couple years, spiked up and crossed the 50 mark intraday on Feb. 5, 2018. On the same day, the S&P 500® VIX Short Term Futures Inverse Read more […]

What just happened in VIX … and is it over yet?

In recent years, strategies selling volatility (and VIX® futures in particular) garnered substantial attention due to the low levels of VIX and the eye-watering returns achieved by associated benchmarks such as the S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index (we’ll call it the “short VIX index” here for convenience).   At the end of last Read more […]

Buying High and Selling Low: The Counterintuitiveness of VIX® Trading

With 2017 in the rear view mirror, we can look back and observe that short VIX strategies rank as one of the most profitable strategies of the year. The S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index returned 186.39%, and selling VIX futures has become a popular income-generating strategy. 2017 was also a year marked Read more […]

Selling Equity Options or VIX® Futures: Two Different Ways to Short Volatility

2017 was a great year for shorting VIX futures strategies. The S&P 500® VIX Short-Term Futures Inverse Daily Index returned 186.39%. Selling volatility does not rely on interest rates or dividends. Historically, investors have been selling options to generate income. Compared to selling equity options, selling VIX futures is an operationally simple strategy that can Read more […]