Curious Sentiment Spikes

Recent movements in the S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) and the Put/Call ratio (PC) reveal some fascinating  signals.

The daily VIX and S&P 500 (SPX) chart courtesy of Trading View show a short- term signal and examples of intermediate – term signals.

First a short – term signal.  Note that on 12/12/22 the SPX had a move up of 1.4% while the VIX had a large move up of 9.7%.  This  is rare and unusual, the VIX and SPX normally move in opposite directions.  The VIX rises when there’s relatively more buying of Put vs. Call Options. Traders  are making downside bets, and at VIX extreme highs it’s a signal of a possible stock bottom.  

It appears that on 12/12/22 traders were loading up on Put options ahead of the U.S – CPI report due out at 8:30 AM – ET. 

After the report was released on 12/13/22 S&P – futures had a huge move up and the SPX gapped up on the open.  In the short term some bears probably took losses, others  holding on  had to endure intense pain before the trade went in their direction.

This phenomenon could happen again.  If there’s a VIX spike up with an SPX rally, it could be a great signal to hold off on shorting/selling until at least the next day.

 There were two Intermediate VIX signals  made in June and October.  Note that after a VIX high there’s  a  lower high that corresponds with a lower SPX bottom. This  is a sentiment divergence; it shows that fear is  lessening as  the SPX makes  a lower low.  Both VIX divergences signaled intermediate SPX bottoms in June and October.

The next daily chart shows the relationship between SPX and PC.

The sentiment divergence phenomenon also occurs with PC.  Note the previous signal made at the October bottom was effective.  This  PC signal, along with the VIX signal was illustrated in this websites  10/16/22 blog “Momentum and Sentiment Update – 10/14/23”.

Also note that within the SPX September to October drop there was another sentiment divergence that signaled a multi- day rally. 

Investor’s Business Daily uses readings above 1.15 as a signal for potential US stock market bottoms.

Note that on 12/16/22 PC moved marginally above the 1.15 level and was  diverging off of the reading  made on 12/07/22.

This sites prior blog noted “There’s a good chance that on 12/19/22 the SPX could continue going  lower.”   If the SPX does decline on 12/19/2 and bottoms in the Fibonacci support zone of 3,796 to 3,806, it could be the start of at least a multi- day rally.


Published by Mark Rivest

Independent investment advisor, trader, and writer. Articles have appeared on Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities , Advantage,, and Finance Magnates.

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