Options Trading News

May 15, 2013  Wed 1:16 AM CT

Equities showed more strength yesterday with new record highs, while the CBOE Volatility Index climbed as well.

The S&P 500 gained 16.57 points, or 1 percent, to close the day at 1650.34. The SPX finished just off its session high, which came just before the bell. It climbed through the morning, took a breather into the afternoon, and then pushed to fresh highs in the last hour--finally breaking that 1650 level. It has support at 1597.

The Nasdaq 100 added 13.95 points, or 0.47 percent, to end the day at 2996.05. That is the index's highest close since November 2000. The index reached its session high just above 3005 at at midday. It has support at 2883.

The Russell 2000 gained more than 12 points, or 1.25 percent, to finish at 985.96. That was the day's high and a new all-time high. The small-cap index is up more than 15 percent from its November lows. It has support at 944.

The VIX was up 0.22 points, or 1.75 percent, to 12.77. The volatility index had traded as high as 13.21 in the first couple of hours yesterday and then gave up some of that ground.

The curious action in the VIX, which usually moves inversely to the S&P 500, could have been caused by unusually heavy call buying in the SPX options. I also believe that it might have something to do with the complicated VIX calculation, which dropped the May SPX options and is now based on the June and July series.

The VIX futures were lower at the end of the day. The May futures have a week left of trading and were down 0.10 points to 13.50. The June futures were down 0.50 points to 15.05. This had the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (VXX) down 0.98 percent to $18.20, just off of last week's all-time closing low.
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