Options Trading News

February 8, 2013  Fri 1:16 AM CT

Equity indexes clawed back most of their losses from the morning and finished mixed yesterday.

The S&P 500 was down just under 3 points to close at 1509.39. It fell below 1500 a couple of times in the morning, then climbed all afternoon. The SPX was unable to break through that resistance at 1515 but remains above its 10-day moving average. I expect tomorrow we will finally see a break one way or the other. Support is now at 1494, then 1460.

The Nasdaq 100 was up just 0.15 points to close at 2746.50. It was down as low as 2716 in the morning but rose in the final half-hour of trading when Apple spiked higher over "active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders." The NDX still has resistance at 2770 and support at 2700.

The Russell 2000 was down more than 3 points to 908.10. The small-cap index reached an all-time closing high a day earlier. It is up against that resistance, with support at 897 and then at 880.

The CBOE Volatility Index ended the day up 0.09 points to 13.50. It got as high as 14.41 just before noon and then slid from there.

The VIX is relatively low here but still well above the actual volatility of the S&P 500. The 20-day historical volatility of the SPX is 8.1 percent.

The VIX futures were mixed, with February contracts losing 0.10 points to 14.05 and the March contracts unchanged at 15.35. This left the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (VXX) down 0.18 points, or 0.76 percent, to 23.37.

The VIX option volume was quite light again at just 287,000 contracts, with calls outpacing puts by 2 to 1. The VXX options were not far behind at 233,000, with calls just outpacing puts.

The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was down 0.5 percent to 76.86 at the end of the day.
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