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Derivatives

New Year, New VIX Record

Fresh concerns about downside risks to global demand sent markets lower and option volatility higher in the first few sessions of the year. As if to acknowledge growing expectations for a more volatile 2015, changes in the level of S&P 500 implied volatility set a new record before the first full week of trading was even complete. Investors saw new reasons to worry about the political stability of the eurozone and about its economic path, as Greece moved toward elections and PMI and inflation data suggested weaker growth prospects for the EU. In addition, the continued drop in oil prices led some participants to wonder whether the weak energy market was indicative of worsening broader global demand.

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