# A Look at XLU’s Recent Implied Volatility Trends

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## Implied volatility

The broader markets recently witnessed a significant surge in volatility levels. On October 12, implied volatility in the S&P 500 was ~17%, which is much higher than its 15-day average. In comparison, utilities (XLU) on average saw an implied volatility of 17%. Implied volatility represents investor unease. A rising volatility is generally related to a fall in stock prices.

Utilities are seen as generally safe stocks due to their slow and stable stock price movements. However, their volatility levels were historically higher than the broader markets. Last week was an exception when the implied volatility of the broader markets surged significantly amid market turmoil.