I do not think today is the beggining of the end. That said, I think there is a good chance that there is at least a little follow through tomorrow (unless there is some sort of crazy surprize in non-farms). Even so, unless the market is down another 1%+ tomorrow, there is a chance the VIX might actually fall or remain relatively flat tomorrow. At the same time, I expect that VIX futures and the VIX ETN's might all be green tomorrow. Take a look at the VIX vs the CURVE at the close (there was a big TAS trade that ran VIX AUG up after the bell).
Ahead of the big premier of Sharknado 2 tonight, I thought it would be fun to look at a potential trade on Comcast, which owns NBC, which owns SYFY, which is showing Sharknado. Do not be surprized if this showing ends up being the biggest broadcast in SYFY history. While SYFY is not a large part of Comcast, whether it actually has an effect on long term earnings or not doesn't matter. I think the ratings on the broadcast will be so high that tomorrow CMCSA might get a small bounce. Regardless, the term structure is such that I think a sale of bullish front week calls might make some sense.
Sometimes customers do really weird things. Sometimes its because they have a strange stock position. Sometimes its because they ahve been given bad advice by a cruddy broker. There are cases where the customer just has a strange idea on how to trade or has no idea how to trade. To be honest I do not know what this customer is doing in MU. Check out the volume and open interest in MU ITM call options in september.
So that was fun while it lasted, but in truth it did not take volatility very long to realign itself right back to where it was. Take a look at the curve today and take a look at where it was 6 days ago on Wednesday the 16th.
Today the SPX finally broke its streak of not closing up or down 1%. While that is certainly important to note, it is not the most important thing that happened today. What most important is how flat footed a few trader got caught. While the S&P moved, the VIX exploded. The VIX moved from the low 11's to almost 15% in one day, in what turned out to be an exceptionally short period of time.
Goldman blew the door off earnings today and now is starting to threaten 170 again on move of about 1.5% today. On the heels of this, traders absolutely demolished GS implied volatility today. While GS is not at its all time high, the IV of the options is at its lowest level post 2008 crisis:
The following shows a vol chart of a high dollar stock, The Stock has been a high flier and has had wicked moves. The IV has been extrememly bid relatively consistently, yet over the last two months the undelrying stock volatility has changed. The stock has no longer been moving around as much and has become somewhat range bound. take a look and see if you can guess what the stock is:
The VIX is trading around 12, which implies that the market is going to move about .75% a day, if it is priced perfectly. In the last two days, the SPX has moved about .66% and over the last 10 and 20 days it has moved less than 7%
Tomorrow option headlines will talk about how the VIX 'popeed' almost 10% to over 11.33% today. This will be a complete miss representation of what happened today. Let us talk about a few important things to notice:
1. We were coming off a long weekend where the market closed for 3 1/2 days, a normal VIX adjustment coming off that long of a break should be about 1-1.2% depending on how much Vega is in SPX options at the time.
With more than two weeks to expiration, this is a pretty light spread. When taking into account that the cash VIX is in the 11's and the Future is 12.45 this is incredibly low. Basically, traders think that a cushion of about .95 and a VIX future of less than 12.5 is plenty of spread to handle any upside risk in VIX. Why?