Back on January 7th, I said one way to hedge the ‘unshortable’ market was to buy some calls on VIX (at the time in the low 17s, falling to 16s later in the day) – I offered April 20 or 22.5
But at minimum a hedge like VIX calls out a few months (April) seems sensible after a 4+ month run. This is where I would be starting today in the low 17s. One day people will believe the market can go down again and I would expect VIX to reflect that by popping into the low 20s. So some April 20 or 22.5 calls make some sense to me.
Three weeks have passed, so with today’s action I’d be taking a third of the position off the table here to lock in profits, with the VIX spiking nearly 20% on the day. It is just short of my call for a pop into the low 20s but when you see a one day spike like this, volatility (hence the premium) on the calls will jump and it’s a good time to bank some coin, and play with house money.
I would reassess on a break below S&P 1280 on a closing basis, but until proven otherwise the Bernanke Put bid rules everything. Plus Mondays are almost always up in the morning … and then Tuesday is the first day of the month which almost always is up as well. That said, in a normal market I’d expect selling to continue as traditionally buyers will not want to step in on a Friday with so much uncertainty. But we no longer live in a normal market, so we’ll see if the old rules apply ….for at least the day.
If the S&P closes below 1280, I believe 1250 comes into play and one can finally take shots at index shorts, for the first time since November.
Disclosure: No position