Equities rise late, close higher
Chris McKhann | firstname.lastname@example.org
Equity indexes climbed in the afternoon to finish higher at the end of the day, while the CBOE Volatility Index was essentially unchanged.
The S&P 500 rose 2.82 points to finish at 1799.84, essentially matching the day's high. The SPX reached positive territory only in the last two hours of trade was unable to break above resistance at 1800. Support at 1740.
The Nasdaq 100 was higher all day and closed with a gain of 20.20 points to 3582.11. That too basically matched the day's high and, unlike the S&P 500, it was back above its 10-day moving average. Resistance is at 3600 and support at 3440.
The Russell 2000 climbed 2.18 points to 1118.73, its high of the day. The small-cap index has resistance at 1130 and support at 1080.
The VIX was down 0.03 points to 15.26. The the nine-day CBOE Short-Term Volatility Index (VXST) fell 0.29 points to 14.22.
The VIX futures were mixed. The February contracts closed at 15.60, while the March futures finished at 15.85. That had the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (VXX) up fractionally to $45.53.
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Russell Rhoads of the CME explains the pros and cons of leveraged exchange-traded funds that are based on VIX futures.
Video: What the VIX 'curve' shows
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The CBOE's Russell Rhoads says nearer-term VIX futures are above the later contracts in what's known as "backwardation," indicating that higher volatility may not end right away.
Video: What VIX pits are seeing
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Traders were buying VIX calls above the 40 level early in the session, but Group One's Mike Palmer says that activity quickly pulled back.
Video: Whipsaw moves in the VIX
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Group One's Mike Palmer explains why the volatililty index saw broad swings right before and after the weekend. Traders are now focused on today's close.
Videocast: Volatility in September?
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Group One's Jamie Tyrrell says traders are buying next month's calls on the volatility index, bracing against a pullback in the S&P 500.