This Week in NASDAQ-100 and Russell 2000 Volatility – 5/30/2014

The NASDAQ-100 (NDX) and Russell 2000 (RUT) have been taking different paths this year and that showed up a little last week as well.  Both were higher, but the performance of NDX (+1.62%) was more than double the rise in RUT (0.74%).  With low expected volatility being the rule these days in the markets both the CBOE NASDAQ-100 Volatility Index (VXN) and CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) also moved up last week.

The chart below shows price action from Friday May 23 to Friday May 30.  VXN was slightly higher on the week, but what really caught my eye is the four bars on the right compared to the first bar on the chart.  VXN stayed within the full range of Friday May 23rd for the whole four day week last week.  I think that can be called a quiet week.



RVX did have a bit more activity than VXN and managed to break out of the high to low range from May 23rd, but not by much.  Also, RVX remains a bit elevated when compared to VIX.  In 2013 the average spread between the two was less than 4 points.  On Friday RVX closed at 17.74 and VIX finished the week at 11.40 for a spread of 6.34 points.


The curves followed the small changes in the respective indexes with the futures changing very little last week.  This coming week we get the employment situation report on Friday so maybe that can spark the volatility markets a little.