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VIX rises above 17 as stocks close flat

Chris McKhann (chris.mckhann@optionmonster.com)

Major equity indexes were essentially unchanged again yesterday, but the CBOE Volatility Index got another bump higher.

The S&P 500 was down 2.41 points to close at 1407.05, roughly in the middle of the day's relatively tight range. We will likely see first support at 1390 and resistance at 1420.

The Nasdaq 100 fell almost 4 points, closing at 2667.89. It had climbed into positive territory but gave up those gains in the last hour of trade. Support and resistance remain at 2600 and 2700 respectively.

The Russell 2000 was up a bit more than 1 point to close at 822.12. It had dipped to 816 in the middle of the day but regained its morning levels in the last hour. Support is at 810 and resistance at 830.

The VIX was gained 0.48 points, or 2.9 percent, to finish at 17.12. The volatility index, which is up 15 percent from Friday's lows, hits its daily high of 17.37 even as the SPX was climbing off its lows. The two indexes usually move inversely.

The VIX added to its levels above the December VIX futures, which were up just 0.05 points to 16.45. The January futures gained 0.15 points to close at 17.85.

More than 620,000 SPX options traded on the day, with twice as many puts as calls. The VIX options traded 395,000 times, led by 276,000 calls. The VVIX Index, which measures the implied volatility of the VIX options, was up another 2.5 percent to 86.18 but still near its all-time lows.

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