Market Metrics and Trends

A Look at Monthly Volatility and Equity and Options Volumes: May 2021

With the economic havoc the global pandemic reaped last year, market volatility and volumes in both equities and multi-listed options reached, and remain in May at, higher than historical levels. Now market participants are wondering what will be the new normal.

In this report, we highlight the monthly market trends for volatility, price and volumes.

Monthly Metrics

  • Volatility (VIX): Monthly average 19.76 (-32.4% to 2020), peak 27.59 on the 12nd
  • S&P 500 (Price): Monthly average 4,163.00 (+29.4% to 2020), peak 4,225.25on the 12th
  • Equity ADV (billion shares): Monthly average 10.6 (-2.6% to 2020), peak 12.8 on the 27th
  • Options ADV (million contracts): Monthly average 35.4 (+22.0% to 2020), peak 41.7 on the 28th

Monthly Trend Highlights

  • Inflation remains a hot topic, as market participants try to determine if it is transitory or underlying/structural. Despite inflation concerns, markets have continued to climb throughout 2021, albeit at a slower pace. While market participants do not consider markets cheap, earnings continue to surprise to the upside and analysts’ target prices indicate more room to grow. Portfolio rotations continue, with inflation estimates driving sector shifts and the focus on fundamentals enabling value to close the gap on growth.



Katie Kolchin, CFA
Director of Research
SIFMA Insights