Volatility indices Understanding the VXD (CBOE DJIA Volatility Index)

Understanding the VXD (CBOE DJIA Volatility Index)

Volatility is an inherent aspect of financial markets, and investors often seek ways to gauge the level of uncertainty or risk present in the market. One widely recognized tool for measuring volatility is the CBOE DJIA Volatility Index, commonly referred to as VXD. In this article, we’ll explore the key aspects of VXD, its significance, and how investors can interpret its movements.

What is VXD?

The CBOE DJIA Volatility Index (VXD) is a volatility index that reflects market expectations of future volatility in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Developed by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), VXD is sometimes considered a “fear gauge” as it tends to rise during periods of heightened market uncertainty and decline during calmer market conditions.


VXD is calculated using the implied volatility of options on the DJIA. Implied volatility is a measure of the market’s expectations for future price fluctuations. In the case of VXD, the index is derived from the implied volatility of short-term DJIA options with expiration dates typically within the next 30 days.

To calculate VXD, the CBOE takes a weighted average of the implied volatility levels from a range of call and put options on the DJIA. This provides a snapshot of market participants’ expectations regarding future price swings in the Dow.

Interpreting VXD Movements:

  1. Market Fear and Uncertainty:
    • A rising VXD often indicates increased fear and uncertainty in the market. This can be triggered by various factors such as geopolitical events, economic data releases, or other unforeseen events that have the potential to impact market stability.
  2. Market Confidence:
    • Conversely, a falling VXD suggests declining expectations of future market volatility. This can signal increased confidence among investors and a perception that market conditions are becoming more stable.
  3. Contrarian Indicator:
    • Some investors use VXD as a contrarian indicator. Extremely high VXD levels may suggest that fear has reached an extreme, potentially indicating an oversold market where opportunities for buying may arise. On the other hand, very low VXD levels might indicate complacency and a potential overbought market.
  4. Market Sentiment:
    • VXD is often used as a gauge of market sentiment. Traders and analysts pay close attention to sudden spikes or sharp declines in VXD, as these movements may provide insights into potential market reversals or shifts in sentiment.


The CBOE DJIA Volatility Index, VXD, is a valuable tool for investors and traders seeking to understand and navigate the dynamics of market volatility. By analyzing VXD movements, market participants can gain insights into the prevailing sentiment and make informed decisions about their investment strategies. However, it’s crucial to remember that while VXD is a useful indicator, it should be considered alongside other fundamental and technical analyses for a comprehensive understanding of market conditions.