The VIX Story

The volatility index must trend lower for odds of a lasting rebound to increase

By Paul Cherney

This is option expiration week. Volatility and options expiration weeks often go hand in hand.

I think there is limited downside. But, I am not going to expect upside which can last for more than just one or two trade days until I see the VIX (the Chicago Board of Options Exchange's market volatility index) close below its 10-day exponential moving average. Odds are not going to start to move in favor of something more than 1 or 2 days higher until the VIX starts to trend lower. Maybe it can start that trend lower on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the VIX's 10-day exponential moving average of the close was roughly 37.40.

The Investor's Intelligence survey of newsletter writers saw Bears move higher than Bulls for the first time since Wednesday, September 19, 2001. It was two days later that the markets set their lows for the September sell-off.

The S&P 500 has immediate resistance at 908-918, then 927-934, then 958-977.

The Nasdaq has immediate resistance at 1393-1415, with a focus of resistance at 1404-1411. The next resistance is directly above that at 1415-1430, with a focus at 1417-1423. The next layer of considerable and well-defined resistance is at 1447-1487.

The S&P 500 has immediate support at 914-893, with a focus at 906-896. Additional support is 895-855, with a shelf of support at 895-976.

The Nasdaq has immediate support at 1376-1364.88, then 1354-1318.

Cherney is market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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