Is The VIX Telling The Bulls Something They Don’t Want To Hear
- Posted by Frank Zorrilla
- on February 7th, 2015
The $VIX is considered by many a fear index that normally moves inverse to the SP500, so if the SP500 is making a new high the VIX normally would be making a new low. A few things are interesting at this juncture with the $VIX and the SP500.
The SP500 is very close to an all time high, 52 week high, 6 month high, etc…At the same time the $VIX is nowhere near its 52 week low, all time low, 6 month low, etc..
As you can see from the chart below the $VIX has spent 90% of the time since January 2013 trading between roughly $12 and call it $18, the $12 level was magical, every time the the $VIX got to that level it bounced, when it got to $18-$20ish it sold off. Some option experts chart the $VIX while some option commentators who work for the option experts say that you can’t chart the $VIX. I will leave that discussion for some other time, but there is no denying as you can see from the chart below that every time the $VIX hit $12 it bounced, when it got to $18-20 it faded.
This the way I’m seeing it,; the $VIX has built a huge base, it has spent 2 years stuck in a range, technicians might call this stage 1 of a stock’s cycle (vix is not a stock). Normally stage 1 bases come after long periods of neglect in which the sellers had total control of the overall move of the underlying instrument until it starts trading sideways, once it starts trading sideways — building the base this is when usually you have enough buyers to gobble up all the supply from the sellers and or the sellers have nothing very little left to sell. This might go on for months, and the longer it goes on for the more explosive the move becomes once the base is resolved, hence the term “the longer the base the higher into space it goes”. In a stage 1 scenario the move is usually resolved to the upside. More importantly, as the base is getting near its end point what you normally see is a pattern of higher lows start to form, this usually means the buyers are now in control. The pattern of higher lows that the $VIX has experienced since it last hit $12 42 trading days ago might be part of the reason why we have seen some decent volatility in the last 2 months with no net movement whatsoever. December started with the SP500 pulling back 5%, then up 6%, down 4.68%, up 3%, down 3.5, up nearly 4% this week.
There’s different way to play this development, one will be to shorten up your time frame and look to sell the rips and buy the dips, another would be either to go long SP500 if you think the $VIX will go back down to the bottom of the range, or you can short the SP500 with thinking the pattern of higher lows will continue. Going long instruments like the $VXX, $UVXY, $TVIX, is not for me, shorting them after huge spikes is a different story.
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Frank Zorrilla is the founder and chief investment officer of Zor Capital LLC.He began his Wall Street career 10 days after his 20th birthday when he became a Series 7 licensed stock broker. More »
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