Below chart displays the number of VIX calls that have been purchased (to open) and the number of VIX puts that have been purchased (to open), during the past 20 days.
We are at record levels of VIX call buying during the past month, as the consensus believes that there is a higher-than- normal possibility of a significantly higher VIX. The contract with the highest open interest is the January 25 call.
Meanwhile, put buying on the VIX, while growing in recent days, is far below extremes that preceded significant S&P 500 Index (SPX) pullbacks. Translation: when there were higher-than-normal bets on lower volatility, the SPX experienced significant pullbacks. Currently, few expect a decline in volatility, which means lower volatility is likely ahead.