Highlights

  • Is volatility currently high or low? It depends on how you look at it.
  • Market volatility is cyclical, and its ups and downs are driven by multiple factors, including equity returns and monetary policy.
  • The Cboe® Volatility Index (the VIX®) tends to decline as the equity market advances, and readings tend to be well below-average when the market reaches new all-time highs, as it did 10 times in April alone.
  • The Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policies have also dampened volatility, but historical data shows that the current average for the VIX® is significantly higher than its average during the previous two low-vol phases.

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