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What 2 Volatility Studies Are Telling Us About This Market

Below is a graphic of 2 separate technical studies on the $SPY.

The top pane is a chart of the historical volatility (HV) over a 20 day period.

The bottom pane is a chart of the average true range (ATR) over a 20 day period.

I like using both of these readings when studying the actual volatility in the market, because they can often generate different signals.

So why is the ATR dropping while the HV is staying elevated? It's simple. The HV reading takes gaps into account, while the ATR only uses data from regular trading hours.

This is a key tell in this market: the gaps in equities due to overnight risk and the Euro voodoo continue to play a role in this market, but after the market opens, the volatility during the actual trading day continues to drop.

If the "gappiness" starts to subside due to some sort of resolution out of Europe, you should see HV finally break that 25 level, and the market may calm down regardless of direction.

by Steven Place

Steven Place is the founder and head trader at