VIX spikes higher with steep selloff

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Equity indexes dropped sharply yesterday, pushing the CBOE Volatility Index up nearly 13 percent.

The S&P 500 fell 24.07 points, or 1.43 percent, to 1661.32. That was the lowest close since July 10 for the SPX, which finished just a couple of points above the intraday low that came in the afternoon. Support is now at 1625, while resistance remains at 1709.

The Nasdaq 100 gained 53.22 points, or 1.7 percent, to 3076.23. The NDX hit its session low in the first hour, almost touching 3068, and is now just back to where it was on July 29. It still has support at 3030 and resistance at 3149.

The Russell 2000 lost 20.19 points, or almost 2 percent, to close at 1027.61. Resistance remains at 1063 for the small-cap index, which has some support at 1020 and then at 1000.

The VIX was up 1.69 points, or 12.96 percent, to finish at 14.73 after posting its intraday high of 14.85 in the first hour of trade. It remains much higher than the actual volatility of the SPX, whose 20-day historical volatility was driven up to 8.2 percent yesterday.

The VIX futures followed higher. The August futures have just a few days left before settlement and were up 0.90 points to 14.25, so they are now at a discount to the spot volatility index. The September contracts rose 0.55 points to 15.70. That had the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) up 5.31 percent to $15.26.


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