Today we are seeing a modest rebound in the market after yesterday’s small selloff. Volatility remains extremely low, with the VIX hovering around 10. It’s important for traders to recognize how low the VIX has been lately. Since 2010, the VIX has only closed below 10 five times, and each of those five times has come in the last month.
However, the market is not without risks right now. Gold has rallied 6.5% since May 9th. Treasuries have rallied, pushing rates to below 2.15. So, the market is currently in a risk off mode while equities are in a period of historically low risk. The VVIX (the VIX of the VIX), for its part, is not sounding the all clear signal, 87 is in the medium range for VIX volatility. Tomorrow we have a potential market moving event with James Comey’s testimony to Congress. The last time Comey’s name was in the news, we saw the VIX move from 10.5 to over 15 in one trading day (a 50% increase) on a day where the market was down over 2%.
Gold and Treasuries have been historically ‘risk off’ assets. Meaning, money is flowing in to places perceived as being safe in the event of a market sell-off. Up until yesterday, money had not been flowing out of U.S. equities, and it might not for some time. Regardless, VIX traders need to be aware of this trend in case it spills over.