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

As the S&P 500 continued to break new ground, the cost of the stock-market protection has quickly declined. Analysts now argue that the most recent dip in the VIX partly reflects the lack of potential market-moving events in the coming months that could shake the market rally, reports Ben Eisen for the Wall Street Journal.

“You’ve got a very quiet period,” Pravit Chintawongvanich, head derivatives strategist at Macro Risk Advisors, told the WSJ, pointing to holidays over the next month and the many traders who are taking vacations. “I think everyone is in standby mode.”

However, other market observers warn that investors are getting complacent and mis-pricing risks. Negative events can quickly stir markets during periods of low trading volume. On Monday and Tuesday, total composite stock trading volumes were each less than 85% of their year-to-date daily average.

The difference between the VIX future expiring in one month from now and the future contract expiring in six months is at its highest level of the year, revealing investors rising demand for protection in the months ahead.

For more information on the CBOE Volatility Index, visit our VIX category.