Russian bear triple play

While stocks around the world are slumping in response to Russia’s military moves in the Crimea, at least one stock is on the move higher as a result. However, the Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3x ETF (Ticker: RUSS) is a leveraged play on bad news in the fortunes of the nation’s listed stocks. The fund is meant to deliver three-times the inverse performance of the Market Vectors Russia index, which year-to-date has shed 21.7%. The Direxion Russia Bear is higher by 93% at the same time. The fund typically trades on very light volumes, but as you can see from the chart below is soaring higher on heavy volume as the Russian bear roars.

The fund is 25% higher in price to $21.63 on record volume of around 400,000 shares. Implied options volatility has also jumped by around three-quarters to reach 137%. Very few options have traded, which is unsurprising given the fact that less than 8,000 positions have been established in the fund – it simply has not gained traction with option traders given the light nature of underlying volume. 

Volume and implied volatility took off to record highs on Russia’s Crimean excursion

About the Author
Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school. Andrew re-joins Interactive Brokers following a two-year stretch at a major Wall Street broker-dealer as their Chief Economic Strategist. His coverage of stocks, options, futures, forex and bonds regularly surfaces in global media, and over the last several years Andrew has made many TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC and BNN and Yahoo Finance.

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