Should we worry about the Vix ‘fear gauge’?

Sometimes a piece of market data can equally well be read as bullish or bearish depending on your preference. Consider the Vix, a measure of the volatility of S&P 500 stocks that’s often referred to as the market’s “fear gauge”. In August, the Vix rocketed, from 12 at the start of the month to an intraday high of 50 on 24 August, before falling back to around 30 at the time of writing.

Interpretations of this move varied so much that it’s difficult to believe that writers were talking about the same indicator. The spike is a bullish [...]

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