News about the spreading novel coronavirus has quickly impacted markets across the globe and in the U.S., where an index for predicting volatility in the stock market has skyrocketed since the virus was announced to the public in January.
The VIX Index is a score based on the stocks of the top 500 companies in the U.S. market and measures the expectation of volatility over the next 30 days. A score below 10 is considered to be low, while a score above 20 is considered high.
Since news of the coronavirus broke in early January, the VIX score has steadily climbed over the last weeks, eventually hitting a peak of 18.32 on January 30 before falling back down below 16 at the end of the day. However, on February 25, the VIX spiked yet again to a high of 26.50 on news that the virus may be spreading around the world at a faster rate. On February 28, the VIX shot up to 48.3, the highest it's been since the Great Recession in 2008.
As of March 18, the index has climbed even higher to reach over 83.