The FEAR INDEX : Planet Money How scared are the markets?
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The FEAR INDEX

Yes, in 15-minute increments. From Marketwatch.com hide caption

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From Marketwatch.com

How scared are the markets?

The VIX, or volatility index, is supposed to measure how much people think stocks prices might move over the next 30 days.

It doesn't predict up and down. Just overall movement. Volatility. Uncertainty. Fear.

At the end of yesterday it was pretty high, projecting swings of 10%. Here's a chart.

But as you can see, it's been this high before.

And there is debate about the index really captures.