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Futures winners and losers: VIX jumped, crude oil sank in 2015

Futures, 1-year performance highlights: 

 
The VIX volatility index zoomed higher as stocks declined in August and September. Japan's Nikkei 225 topped the Finviz futures list of leading stock indexes. The S&P 500 has managed to eke out a gain of 1% over the past year.

As noted on Twitter, I believe Finviz' data on ethanol futures is incorrect (they show a 1-year gain of 70%). Here's a continuous weekly chart on ethanol that shows a picture of flat returns over last year's prices.  


Metals and energy prices suffered over the past year, as copper and platinum fell over 20%. Natural gas sank 41%, but the biggest hits came to WTI and Brent crude oil. 

Focusing in on oil, this year's worst performer, we see WTI crude oil down 50% for the year.


 
Oil is now trading near $45, down well off its highs near $100 - $110 of the last several years. Of course, that's taken the entire oil and gas complex down with it. The crash in oil and energy stocks is a trend we've covered on Twitter and StockTwits since late 2014. More on that to come in a future post.

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