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VXN (CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index)


The VXN (CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index) is a real-time market index representing the market’s expectations for volatility over the coming 30-day period. It is calculated by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) using Nasdaq 100 index options. It is often referred to as the “fear gauge” for the Nasdaq 100 index as it indicates investors’ perceptions of market risk and uncertainty.


The phonetic pronunciation for VXN (CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index) would be: V – “vee”X – “ex”N – “en” So when said together, it sounds like “vee-ex-en”

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are the three main takeaways about VXN (CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index):“`html

  1. The VXN is a popular measure of the stock market’s expectation of volatility implied by NASDAQ 100 index options. It is calculated and disseminated on a real-time basis by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

  2. Being a forward-looking tool, it uses prices of NASDAQ 100 options to predict how choppy the market is likely to be over the next 30 days. Higher VXN values suggest higher expected volatility and potential market fear or uncertainty. Lower values may suggest complacency or predictability.

  3. The VXN, similar to the VIX (S&P 500 Volatility Index), is often referred to as the “investor fear gauge”. It doesn’t measure the actual volatility of the index; rather it measures the projected volatility. It goes up when market risk is perceived to be on the rise and down when market risk is perceived to be falling.



The VXN, or CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index, is a key measure utilized by traders and investors to gauge the market’s expectation of volatility implied by NASDAQ-100 index options. Strategically, this index is significant as it can help market participants to identify potential market risks and opportunities. A high VXN value often indicates elevated levels of fear or uncertainty in the market, which can signal market volatility, providing investors with an opportunity to hedge or to exploit fluctuations in the market. Conversely, a low VXN value suggests a stable and confident market environment where risk is perceived as low. Thus, by closely watching the shifts in VXN, investors can make more informed decisions and adapt their portfolio strategies accordingly.


The CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index, or VXN, is a well-known measurement tool used by investors, traders, and other financial market participants to quantify and predict the level of volatility in the Nasdaq 100 Index. Being a product of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), VXN functions as a key risk management instrument. Calculated through a blend of options derived from the Nasdaq market, VXN offers an overview of market expectations for near-term volatility. Thus, it aids in the decision-making process by delivering a snapshot of the collective market sentiment driven by numerous quantifiable factors.Primarily, the VXN is used for speculation and hedging purposes. By gauging the 30-day projected volatility of the Nasdaq 100 Index, it provides a bird’s-eye view of potential market fluctuations based on real-time trades in the index options. For instance, a rising VXN value indicates investor anxiety, leading them to expect significant price changes in the Nasdaq 100, and vice versa. As a hedging tool, it aids portfolio managers to protect their investments from market uncertainties. When a high volatility is anticipated, they might use options or other investment derivates to shield their portfolios from potential downturns. Thus, the VXN is deemed an especially useful barometer in turbulent market conditions, allowing investors to make informed decisions while mitigating risk.


1. **Technology Market Fluctuation:** An example of VXN in real world can be observed through its reflection of the technology market volatility. In March 2000, during the dot-com bubble burst, the VXN surged as the tech industry suffered drastic shifts. High readings of the volatility index typically coincide with periods of market instability as it did during this period.2. **Global Financial Crisis of 2008:** During the global financial crisis in 2008, VXN also registered high values as panic about mortgage-backed securities led to high volatility in the Nasdaq 100, which predominantly constitutes of technology and financial services sector companies. Traders and analysts used this information to anticipate market movements and make strategic decisions.3. **COVID-19 Market Impact:** In 2020, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the VXN spiked again. The widespread disruption caused by the pandemic led to increased volatility in the stock market, as seen (and measured) by significant increases in the VXN. This index portrayed the uncertainty in the technology sector of the Nasdaq caused by shifts in work environments, economic hardships, and the global disruption of supply chains.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the VXN (CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index)?

The VXN is shorthand for the CBOE NASDAQ Volatility Index, which measures the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility implicit in the prices of near-term NASDAQ 100 options trading.

How is the VXN calculated?

The VXN is calculated using the same methodology as the older VIX volatility index. It reflects the market’s consensus of expected volatility but uses NASDAQ 100 index options.

What does a high VXN value indicate?

A high VXN value indicates greater volatility or uncertainty in the NASDAQ 100 Index. It tends to rise when the market is bearish and traders are expecting big swings in prices, thus increasing the demand for options.

Can I use the VXN to predict future market movements?

Not exactly. The VXN, like other volatility indices, doesn’t directly predict future direction but shows market sentiment and expectations about volatility. For example, a rise in VXN may indicate increased fear or uncertainty.

Can I invest or trade the VXN?

Individual investors can’t directly buy or sell the VXN. However, they can invest in derivative products like futures and options linked to the VXN or exchange-traded products (ETPs) which aim to track the performance of the VXN.

How does VXN differ from VIX?

The VXN and VIX measure the market’s expectation of 30-day volatility but using different indexes. The VIX uses the S&P 500 Index whereas the VXN uses the NASDAQ 100 Index.

Is the VXN only useful for options traders?

While the VXN is derived from options prices, it’s a useful tool for all types of investors. In particular, it can serve as a market sentiment indicator helping to foresee periods of expected high volatility or potential market downturns.

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