Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets Magazine

Why Is Volatility So Low?

We checked in with seven experts, including a Nobel laureate. They cited ‘Minsky moments,’ chaos and crowded trades.
Bloomberg business news

Fidelity's Stevenson Expects Equities Bull Market to ‘Grind On’


Volatility was one of the never-ending talking points of 2017. Hardly a day went by without stories citing the almost eerie calm in U.S. stock markets. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, finished the year with the lowest average daily level on record. During the course of the year, we saw the market’s fear gauge set a new record low when it closed at 9.14 on Nov. 3.

Want more perspective? Try this: Arrange all the trading days this millennium from lowest to highest by the value of the VIX that day. The first 41 entries on that list would all be from 2017! Fully 80 of the top 100 calmest days since the turn of the century were in this past year.