The VIX index is specifically measuring expected volatility for another index, the S&P 500. True to its name, the S&P 500 index is composed of 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. Because the S&P 500 includes so many large companies across several different market sectors, it is generally viewed as a good indication of how the U.S. stock market is performing overall.
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The basics of VIX
When investors trade options, they are essentially placing bets on where they think the price of a specific security will go. In many cases, large institutional investors will use options trading to hedge their current positions. So, if the big firms on Wall Street are anticipating an upswing or downswing in the broader market, they may try https://1investing.in/ to hedge against that volatility by placing options trades. If many of the large investment firms are anticipating the same thing, there is usually a spike in options trading for the S&P 500. The VIX index uses the bid/ask prices of options trading for the S&P 500 index in order to gauge investor sentiment for the larger financial market.
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VIX and volatility
Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. As the range of strike prices for puts and calls on the S&P 500 increases, it indicates that the investors placing the options trades are predicting some price movement up or down. Typically, the performance of the VIX index and the S&P 500 are inversely related to each other. In other words, when the price of VIX is going up, the price of the S&P 500 is usually heading south. The formula used by Cboe to calculate the price of VIX is rather complex, and the price of VIX is updated live during trading hours every 15 seconds. To spare you the math headache involved with calculating the price, let’s look instead at the data used to calculate it.