VIX falls sharply as stocks close mixed

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Equity indexes closed mixed yesterday, but the CBOE Volatility Index collapsed in the final two hours of trade.

The S&P 500 ended the day up 0.83 points to close at 1512.12. The SPX spent most of the day in the red but climbed late in the afternoon, nearly matching its midday highs. The resistance at 1515 holds for now, while the first level of support should be around 1490.

The Nasdaq 100 was down on the day, giving up 8.64 points to close at 2746.35. It did bounce off the lows in the afternoon but was unable to regain its midday highs. It has resistance at 2770 and a first level of support at 2700.

The Russell 2000 gained 3.07 points to 911.29, an all-time closing high. The small-cap index has support at 895 and then 875.

The VIX fell sharply in the late afternoon, giving up 1.26 points, or 8.6 percent, to finish at 13.41. It had been up above 14 about two hours before the close. The February and March futures were both down 0.25 points to 14.15 and 15.35 respectively. That left the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) down 0.5 percent to 23.55.

The VIX options changed hands 457,000 times, with calls just outpacing puts. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was up 2.9 percent to close at 77.24.

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