VIX volatility gauge surges above 200-day moving average as stocks tumble

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A closely watched gauge of expected stock-market volatility jumped Thursday as a tech-led selloff dragged major benchmarks sharply lower. The CBOE Volatility Index , known by its ticker symbol “VIX”, rose 3.79 points to 30.76 after trading at a more-than-seven-week high of 32.19, according to FactSet. The rise took the VIX above its 200-day moving average, which stood Thursday at 28.26, for the first time since July 30. The VIX is an options-based measure of expected volatility over the coming 30 days for the S&P 500 [s:spx]. The VIX, which typically jumps during big stock-market selloffs, also tends to fall back during long, gradual rallies, but had remained stubbornly elevated above its long-term average of near 20 as stocks pushed back into record territory in recent weeks. Stocks were under heavy pressure Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite logged another round of records and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 for the first time since February. The tech-led selloff saw the Nasdaq down around 590 points, or nearly 5%, in early afternoon activity, while the S&P 500 dropped 3.5% and the Dow shed 804 points, or 2.7%.

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