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VIX Records Biggest Two-Day Jump Since April on Slump

The VIX had the biggest two-day increase in three months as losses in technology and small-caps fueled a selloff across the U.S. stock market.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, known as a “fear gauge” because it tracks the cost of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index options, rose 5.7 percent to 11.98 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York, reaching the highest level in two weeks. The gauge is up 16 percent in the past two days.

Investors are selling Internet and biotechnology shares before the start of earnings season, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index to its biggest slide in two months. Stocks retreated from records yesterday amid speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected.

“With the big earnings season coming up, we expect a pickup in volatility over the next month or so,” Peter Tuz, who helps manage more than $450 million as president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp. in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a phone interview. The VIX was “extremely low for quite a while, but that’s over,” he said.

The S&P 500 lost 0.7 percent to 1,963.71 today. Alcoa, the largest American aluminum producer, reported second-quarter profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates after the close of trading today, unofficially kicking off the season. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs, Yahoo! Inc. and Johnson & Johnson are among companies reporting financial results in the next week.

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