In my Wednesday post I introduced the Z-Score and also explained how we use it for scoring implied volatility, making it the IVZ-Score. What I didn’t focus on much is why one would do such a thing in the first place, and the underlying purpose may not be immediately apparent to some. Now I already can sense your eyes glazing over plus it’s Friday, so I’ll promise to make this brief and actionable for non-nonsense traders mainly interesting in turning a buck.
The implied volatility Z-score is a way of framing implied volatility in context. For example, today SPY closed up 0.35%, which is decent but nothing compared with some of the candles over the past few months. But how normal or abnormal is it? We don’t know unless we’re able to put it in context.
We are only eight months into the year but for all intents and purposes 2020 will be remembered by future historians as a year of explosive change and implacable economic Darwinism. At no other moment in time was there ever the possibility of shutting down a nation’s entire economy – let alone a global one – due to war, disease, or any other reason. It didn’t happen during WW1, neither did it happen during WW2, the Spanish Flu in 1918, the American polio epidemic in 1916, or the Asian flu in 1957.
Big tech was stomped again over the past few sessions but the current retracement still lies within the parameters of a regular late summer shake down. What is a bit more disconcerting to me is the marked increase in realized (historical) volatility, which usually is indicative of a late stage bull market top. Since big tech has been leading this rally this would have major implications to equities across the board.