- The Cboe Volatility Index – or VIX, often referred to as the stock market fear gauge – rose 12% on Friday after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
- This growth came in the form of risk markets globally and investors shifted cash to assets of safe havens.
- Wall Street strategists had previously warned that instability would increase in the weeks before and after the presidential election. Positive testing further increases fuel uncertainty.
- Watch the VIX update live here.
Wall Street’s preferred measure of future stock-market volatility rose on Friday after President Donald Trump announced positive tests for COVID-19.
The Cboe Volatility Index – or VIX, commonly referred to as the stock market’s fear gauge – rose as much as 12% as premarket futures for major stock US indices. Investors around the world abandoned risky assets in early trading Friday and moved to safer locations.
A positive test for the US presidential election just one month before the US presidential election adds new uncertainties. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive, began speculating on Friday that there would be no next scheduled debate between the President and Vice President Joe Biden. Trump will likely have to cancel several campaign rallies.
With Wall Street strategists already warning of heightened volatility in the weeks before and after election day, the news on Friday morning is set to keep markets more chaotic in the next month.
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To be sure, the intraday peak remained below the height seen last week. The entire index gained momentum during September as sales of tech giants declined.
The volatility metric uses the pricing of S&P 500 option contracts to measure investor sentiment and perceived market risk. When the amount of the price swing increases, the VIX increases more.
The VIX peaked at around 29 after hitting an intraday high of 29.90. A steady growth reversed during the month with a month-long decline for the index and held at relatively high levels.
VIX as of 9:15 pm ET at 29.25 on Friday.
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