Always consider hidden risks
SP500 CBOE SKEW Index: Unusual Behavior ?
September 18 ( From  TradeView, CBOE, Dana Lyons )
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​​The Situation

​Financial assets like the SP500 had a very good performance indeed til August 2015 when the market shifted to a risk off pattern... Usually the market is following the VIX Index in search of risk factor.

​​But a less know Index, the SKEW Index from CBOE can tell us a different story from time to time...

SP500 CBOE SKEW Index: Unusual Behavior ?  $SPY,  $VIX  #Trading #Investing #SP500 #vix #skew
​20 DMA ( Red Line ) 50 DMA ( Green Line )
SP500 ( Candles - Bottom Panel )​
The CBOE Skew IndexSM - referred to as "SKEW" – is an option-based indicator that measures the perceived tail risk of the distribution of S&P 500 ® log returns at a 30- day horizon. Tail risk is the risk associated with an increase in the probability of outlier returns, returns two or more standard deviations below the mean.

For more details: ​​CBOE SKEW INDEX FAQ

The value of SKEW increases with the tail risk of S&P 500 returns.

​​A SKEW value of 100 means that the perceived distribution of S&P 500 log-returns is normal, and the probability of outlier returns is therefore negligible. As SKEW rises above 100, the left tail of the S&P 500 distribution acquires more weight, and the probabilities of outlier returns become more significant.

​​SKEW and VIX are different and complementary measures of the risk of 30-day S&P 500 returns. VIX is a close proxy for the standard deviation of those returns. The standard deviation describes the average spread of the distribution of returns around its mean. This is not a sufficient measure of risk because the distribution of S&P 500 log returns is not normal. SKEW describes the tail risk of the distribution. The daily values of SKEW and VIX are uncorrelated, but the range of SKEW tends to narrows for extreme values of VIX.

​​​​The option market is telling us to expect the market to an atypical return profile since the SKEW is spiking since September 11 and that the 20 and 50 DMAs ( Day Moving Averages ) are heading higher. The 20 DMA on the SKEW ( Red Line on the chart below ) is reaching levels not seen since January 8 2015 and at near levels where we had previous corrections on the SP500. ​( See 1rst chart below - Yellow Horizontal Line and Ellipses )

That tells me that the participants are hedging with some protective options plays with the SP500 at that level.That is not surprising because of the high uncertainties associated with international risks now ( Emerging Markets, China, ...) Previous peaks in the Mighty SP500 have been associated with higher level of SKEW - some protection needed.

​​But having the SKEW Index spiking after the correction started on August 20 followed by a grinding pattern and a Break Out on September 16 from a Pennant Technical Pattern is quite unusual for the SKEW Index and well detailed and explained by Dana Lyons article​.

​​There is more Volatility being priced from the Market compare the to the outlier events probability of the previous severe correction of October 2014.

This Unusual Behavior have been in the past associated with huge market move...