ETF Investors Look Complacent with VIX at Lowest in over a Year

The CBOE Volatility Index-related exchange traded funds are breaking down to new lows, with the VIX hitting its lowest in over a year, reflecting an increasingly complacent equities market.

Over the past three months, the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (NYSEArca: VXX) fell 35.6%, ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEArca: VIXY) decreased 35.6%, VelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSEArca: VIIX) dropped 35.5% and REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (BATS: VMAX) decreased 44.3%.

The VIX is now hovering at 11.34 after slipping to as low as 10.93 in early morning trading, its lowest intraday level since August 2015.

Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO) and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) have increased 6.7% over the past three months, mirroring the new highs in the S&P 500 benchmark.

The VIX, or so-called fear index, is a widely observed indicator for investor sentiment in the stock market and measures the expected or implied volatility of large-cap stock options traded on the S&P 500 index. ETPs that track VIX futures allow investors to profit during rising volatility or hedge against short-term turns. VIX exchange traded products track the VIX futures market, not the VIX spot price.