As the rally in equities gains momentum, exchange traded funds linked to the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, are revealing greater complacency in the stock market, with the index on Friday hitting a new five-year low.
The VIX is now at 12.59, hovering around its lowest point in a half-decade. [Vanguard: Where’s the Volatility?]
Meanwhile, inverse VIX funds have been killing it. VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN (NYSEArca: XIV) surged 171.8% over the past year and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: SVXY) jumped 168.0%.
The VIX, a measure of expected or implied volatility on large-capitalization U.S. stocks through options traded on the S&P 500 index or more commonly known as the market’s “fear” gauge, has been moving lower while the S&P 500 moves toward its all-time highs.
However, investors should be wary of continuing to short the VIX as all the good economic data may already be factored into the markets.