Strong Q1 Options Volume Growth for Both SPX (Up 22%) and VIX (Up 48%)

Both the S&P 500® (SPX) and the CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) index options experienced strong volume growth in the 1st quarter of 2013 compared with the 1st quarter of 2012 – SPX options average daily volume rose to 809,067 (up 22%) and VIX options average daily volume rose to 633,811 (up 48%).


It is interesting to note the put/call ratios for both the SPX and VIX options for the time periods covered in the chart below —

1.58                SPX options 1Q’13

1.74                SPX options 1Q’12

0.47                VIX options 1Q’13

0.68                VIX options 1Q’12

SPX options often have had put/call ratios well above 1, while the VIX options put/call ratios usually have been below 1.

While calls and puts can be used in a variety of ways by buyers and sellers, two of the simplest strategies for portfolio protection are the use of long SPX protective puts and long VIX calls.


To learn more about how SPX and VIX options can help you manage your portfolios, please visit the microwebsites and

Matt Moran