VIX jumps as SPX drops below 1500

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The major equity indexes all gave up more than 1 percent yesterday to close at or near their session lows, sending the CBOE Volatility Index sharply higher.

The S&P 500 dropped back below 1500, giving up 17.46 points, or 1.15 percent. The SPX ended just above its intraday low at 1495.71, the index's first close below its 10-day moving average since the last day of 2012. Resistance is now 1514 and support at 1472.

The Nasdaq 100 finished at 2715.68, losing 48.28 points, or 1.75 percent. That was barely above its low of the day and was its lowest close of 2013. The NDX has resistance at 2770 and support at 2660.

The Russell 2000 fell 11.92 points, or 1.31 percent, to 899.28. It remains the strongest of the indexes and remains above its close from last Wednesday. Friday's all-time high just shy of 913 should be resistance for the time being, while support is around 880.

The VIX jumped 1.77 points, or 13.72 percent, to 14.67. That was just 0.01 points off its highest close from 2013, which came on the first trading day of the year.

The VIX February futures gained 0.95 points to close at 15.25, while the March contracts were up 0.50 points to 15.90. This pushed the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) up 6.24 percent to $24.54. The VIX futures and options both set record-high volumes in January.

The VIX options turned over 366,000 contracts on the day, with 203,000 calls. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was up more than 6 percent to 77.79.

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