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VIX drops as stocks end week at highs

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Major equity indexes closed Friday right around the week's highs, driving the CBOE Volatility Index back toward multi-year lows.

The S&P 500 gained 15.06 points, or 1.01 percent, to finish up the week at 1513.17. It was only a point higher at the day's highs, and this marks the highest close since 2007. Resistance is now 1520 and support 1480.

The Nasdaq 100 was up 32.43 points, or 1.19 percent, to close at 2763.96. That is its best close since mid-October, but the index remains more than 100 points below its September highs. Resistance at 2770 has held, while support is at 2705.

The Russell 2000 was up by 1.01 percent, gaining 9.11 points to close at 911.20. It hit an all-time high about a point higher just before the bell, and this is a new lifetime closing high for the small-cap index. It has support at 890.

The action pushed the VIX down 1.38 points, or 9.66 percent, to 12.90. The VIX usually shows relative weakness on Fridays as the SPX options price in the weekend time decay . It is interesting to note that the VIX remains above the its mid-January lows.

The VIX futures followed the spot volatility index lower. The February contracts lost 0.65 points to close at 14.25, while the March futures were down 0.40 points to 15.35. This had the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (:VXX) down 5.14 percent to $23.09.

The VIX options traded 489,000 contracts, led by 344,000 calls. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of those options, was down 4.5 percent to 73.29, just above its all-time lows.

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