Normally when we hear that the VIX is rising, we automatically think that the market has probably been declining. Conversely, a falling VIX usually coincides with a rising market.
This year, however, the inverse relationship between the two has not been as evident. In fact, both the S&P and the VIX are on pace to finish the year higher. But a market where both the VIX and the S&P 500 rise in the same year is not as uncommon as one would think. For four years in a row in the mid-1990s (1996-1999), both indices finished the year higher.