Wall Street’s ‘Fear Gauge’ Shows It’s About to Get Ugly in the Stock Market

The VIX is on the move as stocks awaken from their summer slumber

by Mark DeCambre
Market Watch

So much for the those calm markets. Wall Street’s “fear gauge” is rearing higher as U.S. equities logged a second sharp selloff in the past three sessions, as hand-wringing over central-bank monetary policy contributes to a renaissance of volatility.

The CBOE Volatility Index VIX, -7.28% often used as a measure of fear in the market, rose 18% on Tuesday at 17.85—its highest level since June 28 and implying that investors are starting to dial up bets that stocks could suffer further near-term swings lower.

The VIX has hovered around 12 since mid-July. That level usually signals quiescence, while a reading of 20 or above indicates that investors are bracing for moves sharply south.

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