$SPX has pulled back from its late-March rally, and in doing so raised the possibility that the bear market is still in force, but the jury is still out on that. The intermediate-term trend still appears to be down (blue lines on the accompanying chart). Shorter-term activity, however, shows a more positive bias in that the "modified Bollinger Bands" (mBB) are now moving higher. Realized volatility has begun to shrink modestly, and the Bands are pulling closer together.
Okay, there are new products that are not exactly the return of those two very popular ETN’s representing volatility trading (TVIX was double the price/speed of $VIX, and XIV was the inverse of $VIX), but two new ETF’s are attempting to do the same thing.
A week ago, it appeared that $SPX had a chance to challenge its old highs. But subsequently selling has dashed those hopes at least temporarily, and now the question is whether support near 4420 will hold. A move above 4637 (last week's highs) would justify a bullish stance, while a move below 4420 would justify a bearish stance.
The oversold rally that began in mid-March continued strongly through March 29th. That day, $SPX gapped up over double resistance at 4600, and showed strong internals. But then, in a somewhat diabolical way, $SPX turned south again, showing terrible internals and plunged sharply back below 4600 as the first quarter of 2022 came to a close. If that was a false upside breakout, it was one of the bear market's best tricks.
In the past, we have occasionally talked about hard to borrow stocks, and how that affects option prices. When market makers and others cannot borrow stock, then the “normal” option arbitrage relation falls apart. Normally, the following equation holds true (modulo dividends and carrying charges):
Stock price = Strike Price + Call Price – Put Price (where put and call have the same terms)