November 13, 2007 at 09:09 AM EST
VXN Reversal Signal
The attached chart shows the VXN (volatility index for the NASDAQ-100 or NDX ) over the past five years, with a 10 day simple moving average, flanked by dotted lines representing 20% above and below the 10 day SMA. Anybody who has been paying attention knows that the last several days have been highly unusual. As the chart shows, the VXN, which rarely closes outside of those 20% bands, is currently 38.2% above the 10 day SMA. This is about as extreme as it gets for volatility outliers and suggests a high probability of a sharp reversion to the mean in the VXN, coincident with a bounce back in the NDX. For the record, the same market bottom signal is coming from the VIX and SPX, but without the extreme reading that is characterized by the VXN and NDX. By contrast, the signal from the RXV and RUT is substantially weaker and only marginally tradeable. Volatility signals with this level of confidence are extremely rare, so if you are looking for an excuse to get long in a big way for the short term, or to trade VIX along the lines recently suggested by Brian Overby , today is an excellent opportunity to try to time the markets.
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