Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some Early Thoughts on the Performance of VXX, the VIX Short-Term ETN

VXX, the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (1 month) ETN, has now been traded for all of eight sessions. No one in their right mind would attempt to draw some conclusions on so little data, would they? Well, right-minded or not, I am always up for a challenge.

In no particular order, here are some factoids from those first eight sessions with the new VIX ETN:

  • in eight days, VXX has averaged 204,751 shares (for comparison purposes, FAS, which traded 160 million shares today, averaged 127,851 shares in its first eight days)

  • for seven of the eight days, VXX has moved in the same direction as the VIX (on Monday, 2/2, VXX fell while the VIX rose)

  • on three of the eight days (Thursday through yesterday), VXX has registered a larger move in percentage terms than the VIX

  • on average (mean, median, etc.) VXX has been moving at a rate of about 85% of the VIX

  • the average intraday range for VXX is (4.51%), with a maximum of 6.93% today and a minimum of 2.51% yesterday

  • so far the ratio of the VIX to VXX has hovered around .439


Alex said...

I wonder how much the VXX can have an impact on the VIX futures. I know the VIX futures are not a very liquid market, but I'm unsure how I would go about comparing trading volume between the too.

Bill Luby said...

Good question, Alex...and my apologies for the delay in responding.

The biggest impact so far has been that VXX has significantly tightened spreads in VIX futures.

Also, at the beginning of March a VIX mini futures is scheduled to be launched. This should also help to rev up the market for all VIX products. I imagine spreads will continue to tighten, more arbitrage strategies will be implemented and in general, the wide range of VIX-related products will mean increased volumes all around.

With all due respect to the ox, 2009 could become the year of the VIX.



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