This Week in VIX and VXN – 5/18/2013

These days, new highs in the S&P 500 get a yawn from everyone including VIX.  VIX was in the second narrowest range since 2007 this past week with the thinnest high low range coming the week before.  The summer doldrums have definitely kicked in, at least for the volatility markets.   An interesting aspect to what is going on in VIX is the lack of a new low relative to new highs in the equity markets.  There does seem to be some underlying nervousness that keeps VIX in the 12 to 13 range.  The close on Friday was the lowest VIX closing since the big drop in gold pushed VIX up in mid-April.

Note the performance disconnect between VIX and the farther dated futures.  Despite VIX dropping on the week, the futures held up and the curve steepened.   There are only two trading days remaining for May futures to trade so with VIX not climbing on the week, May VIX came under pressure.  Beyond May things appeared to be status quo.   VXN came under a bit more pressure than VIX last week and the result was a more parallel shift in the VXN curve.