The CBOE SKEW Index (“SKEW”) is an index derived from the price of S&P 500 tail risk. Similar to VIX, the price of S&P 500 tail risk is calculated from the prices of S&P 500 out-of-the-money options. SKEW typically ranges from 100 to 150. A SKEW value of 100 means that the perceived distribution of S&P 500 log-returns is normal, and the probability of outlier returns is therefore negligible. As SKEW rises above 100, the left tail of the S&P 500 distribution acquires more weight, and the probabilities of outlier returns become more significant.” – CBOE

skew
Source: CBOE

CBOE SKEW Index is currently at 146.33, which is the 3rd highest value since SKEW is being recorded ie 27 years. With VIX near all time lows, the option traders seem to be pricing in a downside tail-risk event.

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