VIX bucks trend, rises as stocks rally

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The CBOE Volatility Index finished higher yesterday even as the stock market rallied, bucking the typically inverse relationship between the VIX and the S&P 500.

The SPX rose 7.88 points to close at its session high of 1443.69 after trading as low as 1433 in the early minutes of the day. Support and resistance remain at 1414 and 1461 respectively.

The Nasdaq 100 gained just 2.56 points to finish at 2693.55. It spent most of the day in negative territory but reached a high near 2700 with about an hour left to trade. That 2700 level may now be resistance again, while probable support is at 2620.

The Russell 2000 also finished at the high of the day, gaining 4.60 points to 852.49, almost exactly matching the percentage gain for the SPX. The small-cap index has support at 820 and resistance at 860.

The VIX finished the day up 0.31 points at 17.67 after hitting a high of 17.96 just minutes before the close. The VIX futures followed suit, with the January contracts up 0.40 points to 17.50 and the February futures up 0.20 points to 18.10. The VIX futures volume has been on record-setting pace this week.

More than 538,000 VIX options traded on the day, led by 338,000 calls. Despite that action and the higher VIX, the VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was down fractionally to 83.06.

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