Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Fear index eases off 14-month high

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Wall Street's key volatility measure fell Tuesday as stocks, battered by persistent worries about the health of European banks and sustainability of the global economic recovery, pared losses.

The CBOE Volatility (VIX) index, or the VIX, fell 7.5% to 35.61, after rising as high as 43.74 earlier in the trading session. The index has eased off the 14-month high set last Thursday.

chart_ws_stock_cboemktvolatilityidx.03.png

Investors remained skittish as stocks plunged around the globe earlier Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost (INDU) nearly 200 points, continuing the downward tear it has been on for most of May, before cutting some losses in afternoon trading.

The VIX jumped 30% on May 20 to settle at 45.79, the highest level since March 20, 2009, following Germany's ban on so-called naked short selling on some financial institutions and European Union government bonds. A VIX reading higher than 30 is considered a sign of increased worry among investors.

The move was geared toward stabilizing the euro and the region, but instead sent stocks plunging, as many investors saw it as a sign that European banks and sovereigns are on shaky footing.

Although down on Tuesday, the VIX is still up 129% since April 12, when it was trading at 15.58 -- its lowest level in nearly three years.

Year-to-date the fear gauge is up 63.75%, and up 20.4% over the past five days. Global stocks have struggled for weeks amid a spate of unsettling news from the euro zone that has sent investors fleeing risky assets such as stocks, commodities, and the euro.  To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.77%3.85%
15 yr fixed3.03%3.10%
5/1 ARM3.32%3.40%
30 yr refi3.76%3.82%
15 yr refi3.02%3.10%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 22,985.81 28.85 0.13%
Nasdaq 6,620.66 -3.35 -0.05%
S&P 500 2,557.53 -0.11 -0.00%
Treasuries 2.30 -0.01 -0.30%
Data as of 3:04pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 12.19 0.07 0.58%
Bank of America Corp... 26.13 -0.11 -0.42%
General Electric Co 23.21 -0.15 -0.64%
Micron Technology In... 40.70 -0.80 -1.92%
Advanced Micro Devic... 14.16 -0.10 -0.71%
Data as of 2:49pm ET

Sections

More than 5% of DACA recipients have started their own businesses since enrolling the program, according to a recent survey. More

Two controversial proposals by the United States during the renegotiation of NAFTA were rejected by Canadian and Mexican leaders, according to sources from each country. More

Research firm Gartner expects worldwide sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones to rise 2% next year. More