The mechanics of the VIX settlement process are non-trivial, but suffice it to say that they settle with a Special Opening Quotation (SOQ) at Wednesday’s open, based upon opening trades (as well as the midpoint between the bid and ask) in SPX options. As a result, the last opportunity to trade VIX August futures and options is the session before the SOQ, at Tuesday’s close.
With two full trading days plus 1 ½ hours of today’s session left, there is a substantial discrepancy between the VIX and the VIX futures. As I type this, the VIX is at 36.40 and the August VIX futures are at 34.50. Somehow that gap needs to be closed in the next two days. Right now the market’s best guess is that the VIX will fall 1.90 points by Wednesday’s SOQ, but of course the final settlement could be between the two current values and quite possible above 36.40 or below 34.50. If you are trading any of these instruments, you should be aware of the price gap and the path of the convergence. You might also use this opportunity to brush up on the little-known near-term month VIX index (VIN) by checking out VIN, VIF and an Obsolete VIX.
Disclosure(s): Short VIX at time of writing