It seems that with every week that goes by volatility sets a new record low of some sort. This week was no exception as actual realized (historical) volatility of the S&P 500 over the past six months (HV126) hit 11.34, a 67-month low.
Spot VIX edged up on the week to 13.02 (+0.9%) while VIX futures all along the curve were pushed lower, with the spread of the term structure at the front of the curve (months 1 and 2) moving wider to -1.3 while the back end (months 4 and 7) compressed to -1.95.
XIV and ZIV remain bullishly biased given that the term structure is in contango and historical volatility continues to decline. As I mentioned in my article this week at Seeking Alpha, VIX can certainly move lower from here and take VIX futures and VXX with it. However, the risk/reward on inverse VIX plays such as XIV and ZIV is currently not very appealing and should be owned with extreme caution.
Weekly VIX ETF scoreboard:
- VXX: -0.43%
- UVXY: -1.04%
- XIV: +0.32%
- ZIV: +0.93%
- S&P 500: +0.31%
As a reminder, you can always see the current VIX futures term structure, past VIX futures data, and historical volatility on my VIX Futures Data page.