U.S. stocks took it on the chin for a second day Thursday, leading the Chicago Board Option Exchange’s Volatility Index, or VIX — known colloquially if not somewhat misleadingly as the “fear index” — to its biggest one-day jump since the last big equity pullback in June.
The VIX VIX 12.96% rose 1.53 points to 14.57, an 11.7% jump from Wednesday — the largest daily jump since a rise of than 23% jump on June 20.
OK, so a big move, but one that sees the index rising from a historically low level. And a low VIX can be taken as a sign of investor complacency, just as a high reading can mark investor fear. Strategists put the historic norm for the index at around 20.
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