The 'Fear Index' is soaring

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s volatility index, which is commonly known as the Vix or the ‘Fear Index’, just hit a 2015 high.

The Vix, which uses option prices to gauge expectations of volatility, jumped 27.9% to 24.48 in trading Friday.

That is the highest since October 2014.

The jump comes as markets around the world flash red.

The increased activity on the VIX spells good news for the CBOE itself, which is benefiting from increased volatility and new interest in hedging.

However, it spells bad news for dealmakers however. Equity capital markets deals like initial public offerings are much harder to pull off when the market is jumping around, while corporate executives are much less likely to embark on acquisitions when they’re uncertain on the direction of the market.

Here is the chart:

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