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VIX Plunges 37% in Three Days

Oliver Furrer | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

While the stock market welcomed the temporary resolution of the fiscal cliff, it does not seem too concerned about the looming debt crisis, at least according to the VIX.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which is a popular measure of implied volatility of the S&P 500, is down nearly 37 percent in the past three days, its biggest decline since May 2010.

Since 1986, there have been only four instances when the VIX fell more than 30 percent in a three-day period.

In fact, prior to 2010, one would have to go back to the days following the 1987 stock-market crash to see such sharp losses.

Worst 3-Day Losses for the VIX

Date Price 3-Day % Change
10/29/1987 64.66 -43
5/12/2010 25.52 -37.7
1/3/2013 14.34 -36.9
8/9/1990 24.39 -32.1
8/22/1991 14.59 -31.2

In the coming months, investors will watch for developments in the sequester, the debt ceiling, and the continuing resolution of the fiscal year 2013 budget – conveniently called the "Three Gorges".

Despite the looming debt ceiling deadline in March and other fiscal issues, the VIX forward futures contracts remain bearish. The March 2013 contract, for example, hit the lowest level of 17.70 during Thursday's trading session.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
VIX
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S&P 500
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