The last time VIX closed above oil, it was time to buy stocks

Oil is down a lot, to under $30.

The COBE Volatility Index is up a lot — hanging out above 30.

It's been rare for the VIX to close higher than oil. In fact, it happened just once in recent years: Aug. 24, 2015. That ended up signifying the bottom of the summer 2015 downturn. The stock market went back up, and finished the year much higher from that point.

And before that single day in August, the last time the VIX closed higher than oil was March 2009. That was the absolute bottom of the market. The stock market bottomed on March 9, and the last time the VIX closed above oil until August was March 11, 2009. In the nearly seven years since, only that one day this past August brought the two prices together.

And on Friday it might happen again.

It's one data point to consider in the market craziness of this week.