As the Eurozone woes mount, market conditions have soured and the CBOE Volatility Index, or “VIX,” spiked to this year’s high in early June. Currently, the VIX and volatility-linked exchange traded funds are popping higher as reality sets in after the brief euphoria over Spain’s bailout.
Implied equity volatility tends to move in the opposite direction to the stock market, providing a barometer for investors’ risk aversion and tradeable asset class. VIX-related ETFs allow investors to hedge against sudden downturns or take short-term directional plays.
The CBOE Volatility Index rose about 8% on Wednesday to trade around 24. Historically, the average range for complacent or low market volatility is between 16 to 18.
U.S. equities markets turned Monday as skepticism over the success of Spain’s €100 billion bailout plan set in, reports Rita Nazareth for Bloomberg.
“The uncertainty remains,” John Carey, who helps oversee about $220 billion at Pioneer Investments, said in the Bloomberg article. “People are looking at the Spanish action as the first of what might be a number of steps or just a partial response to the needs of Europe’s debt crisis.”