TVIX's Time To Shine?
With stocks extending their losing streak in bloody fashion today, some traders are once again warming up to and extolling the virtues of volatility exchange-traded products such as the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (NYSE: VXX). VXX is up almost 7% today and over 13% in the past week.
Thirteen percent in a week sounds good, but one controversial volatility ETN would have something to say about that. The VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSE: TVIX) is up more than that today alone and Tuesday's TVIX surge comes on the heels of an almost 10% jump on Monday.
We're not throwing a party over two days of TVIX action and it's hard to say this maligned ETN has suddenly redeemed itself.
That said, it does look like TVIX is actually doing what it's supposed to over the past couple of days. While no one would accuse TVIX of being easy to understand, the way to explain it to a second-grader would be to say TVIX allows traders to take a short-term view on volatility's direction.
From the VelocityShares Web site: "The return on the ETN is linked to twice (2x) the daily performance of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures™ Index ER less the investor fee. The ETN provide traders with an exchange traded instrument enabling them to efficiently express their market views on the short-term futures contracts on the CBOE SPX Volatility Index."
And since volatility is often viewed as being a bad thing and having a negative correlation to equities and other riskier assets, this could be TVIX's time to shine if the market keeps sliding.
Then again, this is TVIX we're talking about and that means tread carefully. On April 4, Benzinga noted the ETN was still found trading at elevated premium to its indicative value. That's still the case today as TVIX's price as of this writing is almost 15% above its indicative value. To be fair, that's down from 21.5% on April 4.
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