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The implied volatility on the S&P 100 (OEX) option. This volatility is meant to be a forward looking volatility. It is calculated from both calls and puts that are near the money. The VIX is a popular measure of market risk.
CBOE Volatility Index
A mathematical measure of the implied volatility of options trading on the S&P 500 index. That is, the CBOE Volatility Index attempts to measure the likelihood of option prices to vary unpredictably in the context of a particular pricing model in this case, the Black-Scholes model. A higher number on the index represents greater volatility, while a lower number represents lower volatility. While critics maintain that its usefulness is overstated, the index is considered a leading indicator of option volatility in the wider market. The CBOE Index is operated by the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, and is also known as the VIX.