The S&P 500 barely extended its winning streak to six straight sessions yesterday, but that didn't stop the CBOE Volatility Index from rising as the major stock indexes gave up earlier gains to close mixed.
The SPX was up just 0.64 points to finish at 1428.48. It had climbed above 1438 in the midday rush but then slipped with the rest of the equity indexes in the afternoon as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke. That 1438 level is now resistance, while support remains at 1398.
The Nasdaq 100 lost 7.50 points to close at 2674.57. The NDX had been above 2696 at the morning high and climbed above 2691 on several occasions throughout the day, but it fell less than two hours before the close. Support and resistance remain at 2600 and 2700 respectively.
The Russell 2000 was also lower, dropping 5.60 points to 829.39. The small-cap index opened the day at its high above 837, which it retested in the early afternoon, but dropped to its session low just before the bell. Support is at 810 and resistance at 842.
The VIX was up 0.38 points, or 2.44, percent to 15.95. The volatility index spent part of the morning above 16 but fell to the day's low of 15.41 with two hours left to trade.
The December VIX futures gained 0.60 points to finish at 16.15, and the January VIX futures were up 0.60 points to 17.10. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (:VXX), which comprises those two futures contracts, was up 2.5 percent to 29.57 at the close but only after hitting a new all-time low of 28.58 during the session.
The VIX options were third in total volume on the day at 589,000 contracts. Calls barely outpaced puts, with calls trading heavily late in the day. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was up 5.5 percent to 83.02 as it came off the morning low.
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