Tuesday, November 13, 2007

VXN Reversal Signal

The attached chart shows the VXN (volatility index for the NASDAQ-100 or NDX) over the past five years, with a 10 day simple moving average, flanked by dotted lines representing 20% above and below the 10 day SMA.

Anybody who has been paying attention knows that the last several days have been highly unusual. As the chart shows, the VXN, which rarely closes outside of those 20% bands, is currently 38.2% above the 10 day SMA. This is about as extreme as it gets for volatility outliers and suggests a high probability of a sharp reversion to the mean in the VXN, coincident with a bounce back in the NDX.

For the record, the same market bottom signal is coming from the VIX and SPX, but without the extreme reading that is characterized by the VXN and NDX. By contrast, the signal from the RXV and RUT is substantially weaker and only marginally tradeable.

Volatility signals with this level of confidence are extremely rare, so if you are looking for an excuse to get long in a big way for the short term, or to trade VIX along the lines recently suggested by Brian Overby, today is an excellent opportunity to try to time the markets.


nodoodahs said...


Once again, we're both on the same page at just about the same time.

Bill Luby said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the link, Bill. Also, I like the design of the new site (and will change my blogroll to redirect readers there.)

The question, of course, is how long we will continue to see green in the tech names. I am still skeptical that this bounce has legs, but I'm primarily a jellyfish and only secondarily a skeptic...



Anonymous said...

What do you make of the VIX futures (do you follow or trade them) and how about the new VXV over at CBOE?

What kind of use can you see out of the new VXV relative to the existing VIX?


Anonymous said...

Good call!

Jeff said...

Good signal, Bill!

Anonymous said...

$VXN seems to be in process of forming double bottom or am i wrong?

Bill Luby said...


An Aug-Nov double top would certainly be what I am expecting at this point.

On the other hand, I don't think double tops are necessarily as strong of a TA signal for volatility indicies as they are for individual stocks.



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