Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tight VIX Range Keeps Overbought Signals at Bay

Yesterday’s little dose of VIX trivia (VIX Has Smallest Intraday Range Ever!) was just the kind of post that I suspected would raise quite a few eyebrows, until everyone concluded that the headline was out of proportion to the actual data point. Ironically, that was a large part of the intent of the post: to poke fun at statistical outliers and extreme readings that have dubious predictive value.

The more I thought about the tight intraday VIX range, the more I believe it is a good segue to a more important related point: that a narrow trading range for the VIX – and also for stocks in general (10-day historical volatility in the SPX is down into the 12s) is allowing for stocks to rise without triggering any overbought signals.

One way I track whether the VIX is signaling an overbought or oversold condition is to use a ratio of the VIX to its 10-day moving average. To make this easy on the eyes, I am partial to using moving average envelopes (MAEs) which quickly flag when the VIX (or any other underlying) has strayed a large distance from its moving average, similar to the manner in which Bollinger bands measure outliers.

My personal preference is to use the VIX 10-day moving average as the baseline and set the MAEs to 10%, 12.5% or 15%, depending upon the underlying volatility in the market. In the chart below, I have set the MAEs to 10 days and 12.5%. The result is a VIX that has hugged the center line (the 10-day moving average) for the past 2 ½ weeks, never threatening the dotted blue MAE lines.

In many respects, the recent activity in the VIX is a microcosm of the action in general in the markets: stocks continue to rise, but not rapidly enough to trigger many of the favored overbought alarms.

Related posts:


Disclosure(s): none

blog comments powered by Disqus
DISCLAIMER: "VIX®" is a trademark of Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated. Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated is not affiliated with this website or this website's owner's or operators. CBOE assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness or any other aspect of any content posted on this website by its operator or any third party. All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as advice to buy or sell any securities. Stocks are difficult to trade; options are even harder. When it comes to VIX derivatives, don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because you can ride a horse, you can ride an alligator. Please do your own homework and accept full responsibility for any investment decisions you make. No content on this site can be used for commercial purposes without the prior written permission of the author. Copyright © 2007-2023 Bill Luby. All rights reserved.
Web Analytics