Just a quick public service announcement to remind traders of VIX futures and options that the VIX weekly futures and options, which the CBOE launched earlier this year, will expire tomorrow instead of the usual Wednesday expiration.
The reason for the unusual Tuesday expiration is the Christmas holiday calendar. Keep in mind that VIX options expire 30 days before the underlying S&P 500 Index options on which they are based. As Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year, the SPX weekly options for the fourth week in December have their expiration moved up to Thursday, December 23, with the VIX weeklys for the fourth week in November moved up to tomorrow. Perhaps even more important, this means that this week’s VIX weeklys can last be traded today, so if you harbor any intentions about opening or closing a short-dated VIX weekly options (or futures) position tomorrow, be sure to make that happen today instead.
As an aside, as I see it, the VIX weeklys are the most important product launch in the volatility space in several years. The VIX weekly futures were launched in July, followed by a launch of the VIX weekly options in October. How popular are these products? Well, the VIX weekly options that expire tomorrow have an open interest of just under 100,000 contracts as I type this, as the graphic below demonstrates.
[source(s): Livevol Pro / CBOE]
The VIX weeklys have already become a staple of my client portfolios and are something every volatility investor should investigate. If you are one of those who has shied away from weeklys or is not comfortable trading options close to expiration, one book that I’m sure will give you something to think about along those lines is Jeff Augen’s, Trading Options at Expiration.
It should go without saying every options trader should have their own options calendar handy in order to help identify these calendar anomalies in advance. My personal favorites are as follows:
Note that the links above are for 2016. For 2015 or for any other year, just edit the URL accordingly.
Finally, I have missed blogging on a regular basis and am committed to getting back into the game this week, ramping up my activity into the December FOMC meeting.
Disclosure(s): short VIX at time of writing; the CBOE and Livevol are advertisers on VIX and More