Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 10/22/2017

VIX was higher last week, despite the S&P 500 hitting a record high for five days in a row.  At low levels this sort of divergence between VIX and the S&P 500 isn’t usually much of a big deal.  But I wonder if there may be more significance since VIX under 10 has become a bit more of a norm.

VIX Curve 10202017

I love going through time and sale to see what sort of trading has been going on in VIX options and it’s a bonus when I find a trade structure that’s uncommon.  This leads me to this week’s trade which combined a synthetic long VIX position with a long VIX put.  On Thursday, there was a buyer of the VIX Oct 25th 12 Calls at 0.36 who sold the VIX Oct 25th 12 Puts at 1.52 which is a synthetic long position in VIX with a price of 10.84.  Since it’s VIX we can think of it as a synthetic long Oct 25th VIX Futures position (it appears the Oct 25th VIX futures were trading at 10.85 at the time).  To round out the trade they purchased the VIX Oct 25th 11.50 Puts for 1.09.  The results a payoff that looks like the diagram on expiration date.

VIX PO 10202017

If the chart above looks familiar it is because it is a long call.   With three legs a trader basically replicated a long 11.50 Call at a cost of 0.43.   The market for those options was 0.45 x 0.50 at the time of the trade so they did a little bit better by executing the spread as opposed to buying the call options.

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 […]

Strong Growth for Key Cboe Index Products in 2017

An October 17 press release introduced a new name , “Cboe Global Markets, Inc. … identity and mission at the Futures Industry Association (FIA) Expo 2017 conference, currently taking place in Chicago.  The changes were made to better reflect the evolving nature and spirit of the company and follows the acquisition of Bats Global Markets […]

Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options – 10/15/2017

On a week over week basis VIX hardly budged, but we did have a couple of days with closes over 10.00 both Monday and Tuesday.  In fact, we would have had a double digit VIX highs each day if it weren’t for Friday’s price action falling short by 0.02.  The curve moved lower than VIX […]

Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/15/2017

There are lots of articles floating around discussing the lack of volatility in the markets along with the low level of VIX.  It’s reaching a point where we don’t have much else to say and are just waiting for a change of scenery.  With all that going on, the four volatility indexes based on SPX […]

Four Facts to Help Address the Issue – Is the VIX “Low” This Year?

In the past year a number of news reporters and others have asked if the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) was at an unusually “low” level in light of all the worldwide geopolitical uncertainties. The average daily closing levels for the VIX Index are 19.4 since January 1990, but only 12.8 since June 2016. At the […]

Weekend Review – VIX Options and Futures – 10/8/2017

Despite closing at an all-time low on Thursday and the S&P 500 gaining over 1% last week, VIX was slightly higher when the dust settled Friday.  The same cannot be said for the VIX futures curve where all contracts lost value last week.  It should be noted that despite the low level (or because of […]

Weekend Review – Volatility Indexes and ETPs – 10/8/2017

The VXST – VIX – VIXM3 – VXMT curve was mixed with VIX rising but the other three S&P 500 related volatility indexes lower on the week. On the summary table, SKEW and VVIX stand out as indications that risk is lurking around the markets.  As a perspective, we have SKEW data going back to […]

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 […]

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. An interesting VIX trade caught my eye on Friday as it were a little different than most of the […]

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