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Equities rally but VIX stays flat

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

The major equity indexes regained ground yesterday, though the CBOE Volatility Index was down only slightly.

The S&P 500 rose 19.99 points, or 1.13 percent, to 1794.19. The move recovered Wednesday's losses and brought the index to its highest levels of the week. Resistance is now at 1815, with some support at 1770.

The Nasdaq 100 picked up 64.59 points to finish at 3532.41. That was a gain of 1.86 percent, but the NDX remains below Monday's open. It has resistance at 3600 and support at 3460.

The Russell 2000 climbed 16.91 points, or 1.51 percent, to 1139.36. The small-cap index is also still below Monday's opening level. It has resistance at 1160 and support at 1120.

The VIX was only off 0.06 points, or 0.35 percent, to 17.29. The volatility index, which typically moves inversely to the S&P 500, surged into the close after falling below 16 in the middle of the day. The nine-day CBOE Short-Term Volatility Index (:VXST) was down 1.45 points to 17.95.

The VIX remains above the nearest-month futures, as the February contracts ended the session at 16.60 and the March futures at 16.55. That sent the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) down 1.7 percent to $45.66.

It is very unusual that the front-month February futures closed above March contracts, especially given the rally in equities. That, plus the relative strength in the spot VIX, could be a bearish sign for stocks.

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