HAVING hit dizzying levels back at the end of 2008, the VIX – or fear index – is back in focus once again. Rampant volatility pushes this index higher and there’s been no shortage of that of late – some may have thought we’d seen the end of it but the big losses at the end of last week led to another big jump. With volumes likely to remain thin towards the end of the month, volatility shows no signs of abating any time soon. Current IG Index price in the Volatility Index (September ’11) is 34.75-34.85

As Persimmon have its half year earnings results being released next Tuesday, investors’ focus will be drawn to the property market and whether the house builder can excel its peers. Unfortunately, the technicals don’t support the bulls, with an RSI sitting just above 30 and the share trading below both the 20 and 50-day moving averages , it looks like the target of 357p might not be far off. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 373.0p–375.7p

To say the price of oil has been choppy of late would not be an understatement, whether it’s fear over recession, or the International Energy Agency sending shockwaves through the markets. Either way, Tullow Oil’s results on Wednesday should be of interest, with it being the talk of many brokers due to the recent spudding of one of their wells and a share offer on the Ghana stock exchange, the concept of it being oversold could be taken with a pinch of salt. Capital Spreads quote a price of 950.0p–952.0p

CNBC MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE
REGISTRATION for CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge opens today. The challenge is a ten-week fantasy stock and currency trading competition that offers a chance to win $1m.

Registered players will all receive a virtual million U.S. dollars to fictionally trade stocks and ETFs on the NYSE, AMEX, LSE and ASX exchanges as well as currencies, in up to five separate portfolios.

For more info, visit www.cnbc.com