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Surprise pop in VIX despite slow day

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Equity indexes were essentially unchanged at the end of Friday's session, but the CBOE Volatility Index was surprisingly higher.

The S&P 500 rose 0.23 points to 1416.18 on a day that saw little action. Support and resistance remain at 1380 and 1428.

The Nasdaq 100 slipped 2.16 points to 2677.88, trading in about a 10-point range in the session. Support is still at 2600 and resistance at 2700.

The Russell 2000 fell 1.28 points to 821.92. Support is at 800 and resistance at 830.

The VIX was up 0.81 points, or 5.38 percent, to close at 15.87 despite the slow trading day. This is especially surprising on a Friday, when the VIX usually shows relative weakness as the SPX options are priced for the weekend time decay. http://www.optionmonster.com/education/options_pricing.php

The action pushed the spot VIX above the December futures, which were up 0.30 points to 15.55. The January VIX futures gained 0.10 points to finish at 17.10.

The VIX option volume was relatively light with 288,000 contracts, led by 170,000 calls. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was up just a bit off its low, now at 78.59.

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