The Fed’s Policy Decisions and Implied Volatility
Journal of Futures Markets, Vol. 31, No. 10, pp. 995-1010, 2011
21 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2010 Last revised: 29 Nov 2011
Date Written: October 8, 2010
This paper examines how the Fed’s monetary policy decisions affect the implied volatility of the S&P 500 index. The results show that stock market uncertainty is significantly affected by the Fed’s policy decisions. In particular, we find that implied volatility generally decreases after FOMC meetings, while the relationship between target rate surprises and market uncertainty appears positive. However, our results also suggest that the apparent positive relationship between policy surprises and implied volatility is mostly driven by the volatility-reducing effects of negative surprises. We further document that implied volatility is affected by both scheduled and unscheduled policy actions, with the scheduled path surprises having the strongest impact on volatility. Finally, our findings indicate that the impact of monetary policy decisions on implied volatility is more pronounced during periods of expansive policy.
Keywords: monetary policy decisions, implied volatility, stock market uncertainty
JEL Classification: E44, E52, E58, G10, G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation