If you think that market volatility is going to persist in the near future, one way to invest is by using the volatility index VIX.
The VIX index (or "fear gauge") measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options, and it increases when market uncertainty takes over. If a stock has positive historical correlation with the VIX, it has tended to perform well when volatility and uncertainty spike. The market may be treating these stocks as “safe havens” during market crises.
We ran a screen on 200 high yield dividend stocks for those with strongly positive correlations to VIX over the last three months. The final list of 6 is listed below.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
List sorted by correlation to the VIX index.
1. Rimage Corp. (RIMG): Provides workflow-integrated digital publishing systems that are used by businesses to produce recordable CD, DVD, and blu-ray discs with customized content and durable disc labeling. Market cap of $115.36M. Dividend yield at 6.07%, payout ratio at 41.77%. Correlation to the VIX index at 0.65.
2. Northrim Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:NRIM): Provides a range of banking products and services to businesses, professionals, and individuals in Alaska. Market cap of $113.15M. Dividend yield at 2.96%, payout ratio at 31.91%. Correlation to the VIX index at 0.62. The stock has lost 3.04% over the last year.
3. Artio Global Investors Inc. (NYSE:ART): A publicly owned asset management holding company. Market cap of $299.80M. Dividend yield at 4.74%, payout ratio at 18.63%. Correlation to the VIX index at 0.57. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.84% (equivalent to 8.89 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -8.99% below its SMA20, -21.% below its SMA50, and -51.75% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 13.5%.
4. FXCM Inc. (FXCM): Provides online foreign exchange (FX) trading and related services to retail and institutional customers Worldwide. Market cap of $141.56M. Dividend yield at 2.61%, payout ratio at 41.61%. Correlation to the VIX index at 0.57. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 28.99% (equivalent to 21.75 days of average volume).
5. Northeast Community Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:NECB): Operates as the holding company for Northeast Community Bank that provides various banking and financial products and services to consumers and businesses. Market cap of $70.78M. Dividend yield at 2.14%, payout ratio at 23.13%. The stock has gained 0.18% over the last year.
6. Greene County Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GCBC): Operates as the holding company for The Bank of Greene County that provides various banking products and services in the Greene County, Columbia County, and southern Albany County, New York. Market cap of $71.30M. Dividend yield at 4.07%, payout ratio at 30.15%. Correlation to the VIX index at 0.50.
*VIX data sourced from Yahoo! Finance. All other data sourced from Finviz.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.