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Wall Street's 'fear index' touches highest level since around April as rising rates spook stock market

Mark DeCambre

The Cboe Volatility index on Monday was trading near its highest level since April as stocks extended a recent, bond-fueled downdraft. Wall Street's so-called "fear index," which uses S&P 500 options to calculate expectations for volatility over the coming 30 days, hit an intrasession peak at 19.32, which is at its long-term average. The VIX is used to bet on coming volatility in stocks and tends to rise as stocks fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by more than 350 points, or 1.4%, at 26,073, while the S&P 500 index was declining by 1.4% at 2,840, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was off by 2% at 7,587. All three benchmarks were off their worst levels of the session. However, the S&P 500 is on the verge of declining for a fifth straight session, which would represent its longest losing streak since November 2016 and underscores a spate of weakness in U.S. stocks. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note , used to price everything from mortgages to car loans, was yielding 3.23%, representing its highest rate since 2011.