Options Trading News

May 2, 2013  Thu 1:47 AM CT

Small caps led equity indexes lower yesterday, while the CBOE Volatility Index and its futures climbed.

The S&P 500 fell 14.87 points, or 0.93 percent, to 1582.70. The SPX stair-stepped lower all day and finished just above its session lows, which came shortly before the bell. Tuesday's close of 1597.57--the index's all-time high--will likely be resistance for the time being. Support is 1575 and then 1541.

The Nasdaq 100 was down 14.09 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2873.35. It hit an intraday high above 2892 just after the open but also dropped to its session low just before the close. That high could be resistance, while support is at 2832 and then 2744.

The Russell 2000 lost 23.22 points to finish at 924.24, just a few ticks off its low of the day, pushing the small-cap index below its 20-day moving average. That was a 2.45 percent decline, more than twice the percentage loss of the SPX and 5 times that of the NDX. Resistance will be at 948 and support at 900.

The VIX was up 0.97 points, or 7.17 percent, to 14.49--its highest close since April 19. That day the S&P 500 closed about 30 points lower. (The volatility index and the SPX usually move inversely.)

The May VIX futures were up 0.65 points to 15.10, and the June futures gained 0.50 points to 15.90. That boosted the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (VXX) by 4.22 percent to 19.77.

The VIX option volume was again relatively light as only 298,000 contracts traded, led by 216,000 calls. The VXX again topped that volume with 326,000 options, including 173,000 calls.
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