Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Is something really scary coming in October?"

From FT Alphaville:
What on earth is going on with the Vix?
Dedicated Vix watchers at the Daily Options Report and Vix and More blogs are getting a little agitated.
It’s all down to the Vix futures contango, which has sharply steepened recently. More curiously still, it is running a particularly high premium for the month October.
As the DOR noted on Tuesday (emphasis ours):
October is roughly 3 month’s (and change) away, and the VIX futures are roughly $8 Nov even higher than that.
Pretty clearly Mr. Market expects a volatility pause this summer, followed by a return to Excitement this Fall. That’s normally a safe assumption as summer is the lowest vol. time of year.
What stands out now though are two things. One is the magnitude of the expected volatility pop. 3-4 points I could easily see. But 8 points? That’s some serious Fear.
But that’s not all. According to DOR the Vix itself is already running modestly high by trading at the 25.80 mark. For the market to expect it to hit the low 30s in October is therefore quite significant.
To compare, the index hit 56.32 back in October 2008.
Looking at the most recent futures curve, meanwhile, you can definitely see a pronounced bump around October....MORE