The Week Ahead In VIX Futures

Very little changed on the week for VIX futures, with most months only gaining 1-2%. Spot VIX however came off its low of 11.05 last week and gained 22%. Week-over-week term structure (does not include March VIX futures which expired this week):

The term structure may look normal but if you consider the steepness of the curve you'll see it flattened a bit this week, down to just 4.5 points separating 1st and 7th month (from 5.8 points last week).  Month 1 to month 2 flattened as well, down to 1.25 points from 2.1 last week. This results in a relatively small positive roll yield in XIV, which by itself, isn't likely to get you very far.

Forward implied volatility remains reasonably priced relative to 1- and 3-month historical volatility, with a ~25% premium. From the VIX Futures Data page:

Of course most of next week's action will likely be influenced by the outcome of the Cyprus bailout negotiations. If they can reach a favorable outcome, VIX is likely to fall back toward 1- and 3- month historical volatility, currently near 11. There are many opinions on what will happen but I found this piece from the former Vice Chairman of Moody's to be particularly interesting.

Lastly, a chart of the intraday SPY arbitrage model from today. Model components broke from tracking the S&P's +0.8% move today, with treasuries and volatility remaining flat and high yield credit being sold.

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