Options Trading News

January 24, 2013  Thu 12:45 AM CT

Major equity indexes were mixed but mostly unchanged yesterday, while the CBOE Volatility Index was fractionally higher.

The S&P 500 finished the day up 2.25 points at 1494.81, another five-year high. It hit an intraday high of 1496 an hour before the bell. The SPX still has resistance at 1523 and support at 1457.

The Nasdaq 100 was up just shy of 16 points to 2762.17, but it didn't surpass the morning high and remains well below September levels. It has resistance at 2785 and support at 2704.

The Russell 2000 was down just over 2 points to close at 896.70, though it did hit a new intraday high of 899.53. Resistance at 900 seems to be holding for now, while support is at 872.

The VIX was up 0.03 points to finish up at 12.46. It slipped to 12.3 in the early afternoon and then climbed with the SPX, though the two indexes usually move inversely.

While the VIX is relatively low, it remains at a huge premium to the actual volatility of the SPX. The 10-day historical volatility for the SPX is 4.3 percent, barely above August lows.

The VIX futures were lower, with the February contracts down 0.35 points to 13.70. The March futures were down 0.30 points to 15.10. This sent the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) to yet another all-time low, down 2.7 percent to 22.67.

The VIX options traded 743,000 contracts, with calls outpacing puts by 2 to 1. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was down 2.7 percent to 71.86.
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