UK Accounting Glossary
The “CBOE Volatility Index”, known by its ticker symbol “VIX”, is a popular measure of the stock market’s expectation of volatility implied by S&P 500 index options. It is calculated and disseminated on a real-time basis by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and is commonly referred to as the “fear index” or the “fear gauge.”
VIX is the CBOE Volatility Index, created by the Chicago Board Options Exchange as a measure of equity market volatility. The VIX was introduced in January 1986. Since January 1993, the VIX has been computed in real-time throughout the trading day. The computation of the value of VIX is based on the implied volatility of eight option series on the S&P 100 index, or OEX. The VIX is quoted in percentage points per annum. For instance, a VIX value of 19.28 represents an annualized implied volatility of 19.28%. The VIX is sometimes called the investor fear index, since investor uncertainty can lead to high market volatility through drops in prices, such as happened on Black Monday in 1987. Options are traded on the VIX, enabling additional hedging and speculation positions on volatility. Closely related to the VIX is the VXD, or CBOE Dow Jones Industrial Average Volatility Index, and the VXN, or CBOE NASDAQ 100 Volatility Index.
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This glossary post was last updated: 5th February 2020.