Wtih the recent release of Option Workbench 2.1 we have planned to publish three blog posts detailing the various new features. In today's article - the second in the series - we will be providing some information on Using Fat Tail Distributions.
We are pleased to announce that Option Workbench 2.1 has been released. There are several new features in this release that improve your control over how probabilities are calculated, analyzed and used by Option Workbench. Below is some information on the new probability analysis.
The feature article deals with the fact that, once again, $VIX is receiving criticism when it really shouldn’t. Most people really don’t understand what $VIX should and shouldn’t be used for. We try to shed some light on the topic, in light of recent articles published on the subject.
The "interpreters" are in charge of this market. They are the people who interpret what they think Bernanke said, and then they act accordingly in the stock market. Frankly, I am in the camp that Bernanke has not changed his message at all -- he has consistently said that QE will remain in force until economic conditions improve (and there is no improvement -- at least in the indicators he is watching).
There are always critics sniping at $VIX, but they are usually fringe players – often with an axe to grind, such as promoting their own version of volatility calculation or something like that. But recently, the criticism has grown much larger and is coming from the center of the investment landscape.
What happened yesterday is relatively unimportant. It’s what’s happening tonight that is the big story. Yesterday, the market temporized while waiting for the FOMC minutes, and then it didn’t do much after the minutes were released, either. However, Bernanke spoke after the close, and the market is interpreting his comments as indicative of the fact that QE is just fine, and tapering won’t occur anytime soon.
On Monday, stocks rallied early, and held onto the gains throughout the remainder of the day. Overnight, S&P futures were up another 6 points in Globex trading. In other words, the upside momentum is strong and the bears seem to have disappeared. Support is at 1615.
Ever since the broad market bounced just over a week ago from the 1560 level, the bulls have been trying to gain complete control. So far, they have been stymied. $SPX has not broken out over resistance, nor has $VIX broken its uptrend. However, one other important indicator has turned bullish -- the put-call ratio.
$SPX has topped out in the 1620-1630 range for several days. A close above 1630 would be positive.
Today is a half-day, holiday-shortened session, and Friday will likely be a very low-volume affair. However, that doesn’t mean that prices can’t be volatile. In the bear market of 2002, the bulls engineered a 300-point Dow rally out of nowhere on July 5th, only to see the bears wipe it out completely in a few days after that. But if you have positions, these big moves can be meaningful.