Displaying items by tag: vix
Markets have been rough for the last few weeks. Investors are doubting the pace of the recovery because of a big renewed rise in cases and the possibility of new lockdowns. And according to market analysts, signs are increasingly pointing to another meltdown. If you study various volatility indexes, starting with the VIX, it is becoming clearer that another big move lower is on the horizon. The VIX and other indexes have recently shot back higher after a steady fall after the huge March volatility and their momentum indicates investors may panic sell and create another big correction.
FINSUM: We do not give much respect to technical analysis on its own, but it is useful (in our opinion) as a tool to quantify what one is seeing in the real world. Right now, this makes sense given the rising worries about new cases and lockdowns.
At this point it might seem natural to think that the stock market simply rises a bit everyday. Stocks have been so steady and so quiet for so long that it is almost disconcerting. The current “quiet” streak is one of the longest ever. The current number of days without a 1% move is the sixth longest streak since 1969 and the third longest since 1995. One analyst described the situation this way, saying “Right now it’s very, very tough to fight this trend … There’s a reinvigoration in the idea that we will see better growth”.
FINSUM: The huge rise in stocks from the Crisis through the last decade was generally characterized by steadiness. We don’t see this as any surprise.
If one thing is for sure about markets at the moment, it is that investors are less worried about the economy and less stressed about the chances of a bear market. That is exactly why the market is at risk. The market’s fear index, the VIX, jumped a whopping 16% yesterday, signaling some underlying anxiety building after a calm and positive stretch. One of the factors that is looming over markets is whether the tariff deadlines on China get delayed or not, which will be a sign of progress or failure on the trade deal. Further, fears over the election, and higher rates, are likely to dampen corporate spending and slow the economy.
FINSUM: Our worry is that the anxiety level at the moment does not seem to be matching the real risk, which ironically is when the chance of a market downturn is at its highest.
The market has been very bearish lately, with last week seeing the worst declines for the S&P 500 since march. The market fell 4.6% last week. This may seem like just another bout of volatility, one in a series we have had this Fall. However, the market’s fear gauge, the VIX, suggests that this selloff is different. The VIX just recently hit levels close to during October’s rout, but what is different this time is that it has sustained its momentum in a way that hasn’t happened since 2016. “This shows that unlike October, investors no longer see the market correction as a temporary dislocation, but rather driven by more persistent macro risks”, says Credit Suisse.
FINSUM: The market is continuing to reflect a comment we made yesterday—that the problems plaguing stocks are not simple to resolve, so is easy to see how prices could continue to fall for some time.
There has been a lot of consternation over the last week about whether the Vix is being manipulated. In one incident last week, the Vix jumped significantly with no corresponding move in the stock market. The culprit apparently was a large options trade deeply out the money which shocked the benchmark. Following an investigation, the Cboe says that it was not market manipulation, but rather an order imbalance that caused the jump in the VIx’s measure. Speaking on whether the move amounted to market manipulation, the Cboe commented that “We reiterate that we believe these claims are without merit”.
FINSUM: Whether or not the market was being gamed, the bigger question is whether the the way the Vix is calculated is too fragile/sensitive. If a single trader with a moderately sized order can move the Vix this much, what does it say about the index?