At least for now VIX hit rock bottom on Friday. There are several components to the volatility complex and VIX is just one of them. As far as the volatility futures are concerned they did break lower today for a while. VXX, which is made up of volatility futures, touched below $30 to record a new low for the year.
The current big news in the financial markets is how 'low' the VIX is. Nevermind that realized volatility is around 4% while the VIX is trading near 12, thus the spread is about 8 full points. However, I think its important to look at how long things can stay low historically. While it might seem like eons ago, 2006 was less than a decade ago. Take a look at the time period of Sep 2006 to Feb 2007.
Over the last 6 months I am not sure if there has been a product that has seens its IV get smooshed more than that FXE. However, in the last few weeks, all that has begun to change. Euro Currency is starting to move and ahead of tomorrow's meeting of the ECB the market is actually expecting some sort of pick up in movement either tomorrow or over the next few weeks. Take a look at a chart of the EVZ (the VIX of EVZ)
The big news right now is that AAPL did not announce any new hardware. There are hints and the developers like the new software, but the bread and butter of hardware is still not announced yet. That makes this conference a little different in that AAPL has held up pretty well after the big rally going forward. How it reacts next week is anyone’s guess.
To a large extent that will have to do with how paper treats the new AAPL stock around $90 bucks a share. I know the intrinsic value of AAPL is not changing but those smaller stock prices could bring back in the mom and pop players who were unfazed by the mini options.
As I write this the AAPL WWDC is going full tilt and the stock has not been able to hold up for most of the day. Granted it had a near $40 run up last week, $606 to $642, so a pullback is not out of the cards. That run also helped push the SPX to record highs on not the greatest news in the world. Part of that run is helping to damp down the volatility a bit in the big indexes of which AAPL is a part.
Stocks moved sideways again yet found a way to make a new all-time high in the SPX. Not every stock was so lucky. Take Infoblox Inc (BLOX) for instance. BLOX came up on a volume screen and spent a good part of the day in the basement. For a stock that traded near $50 this year the fall was humbling.
I am fresh from a webinar for TradeMonster entitled “Trading in a Low Volatility Environment”. It was good to have so many questions about the alternative trade setups. The big takeaway of course is that a trade set up when vol is cheap has a certain character. With the VIX staying comfortably below the 12 handle we certainly are that. The surprise of course is the economy can contract and we rally to all-time highs. I guess paper wanted to buy the recession dip due to the bad weather. From what I can tell global cooling is a lot worse on the economy than global warming but good for stocks.
Looking at the market rip up on the surprising housing news and the old highs are in the rearview mirror as stocks race ahead. Alex Jacobson, who I co-moderate the Options Block with on the Options Insider Radio Network, made a nice call last week watching the Dow transports make new highs and thinking the broader market was not too far behind. 1909 on the SPX and counting today as the shorts are going to have a hard time answering on this one.