Wall Street 'fear index' plumbs two-decade low

Police arrest 150 after post-election trouble in Paris overnight

The volatility of Wall Street stocks have dropped to a record low after a string of days with little change in the markets.

Investors are taking on more risks after a strong showing by Corporate America in the latest earnings season and Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election on Sunday. On the Nasdaq, 1,501 issues rose and 1,233 fell.

Will volatility return to US equity markets?

Nibali teammate Moreno expelled from Giro d'Italia
Nibali teammate Moreno expelled from Giro d'Italia

The euro hit a six-month high against the dollar after Macron comfortably defeated far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen who had threatened to take France out of the European Union.

Oil prices fell, surrendering earlier gains, rattled by concern over slowing demand and rising USA crude output that has shaken investors' faith in the ability of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to rebalance the market.

She believes there are more nuanced reasons than complacency for the suppressed volatility, like the rise of exchange-traded funds and investors finding other ways to hedge besides S&P 500 index options.

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"We remain largely constructive of the equity market and view that the path of least resistance is higher", said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at Private Client Group of U.S. Bank.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.5 points, or 0.17 percent, to 20,975.78, the S&P 500 lost 2.46 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,396.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.93 points, or 0.29 percent, to 6,120.59. It briefly touched a record high of 2,399.94. Coach's shares rose 7.2 percent.

Endo International ENDP.O , Office Depot ODP.O and Marriott MAR.O also rose after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

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Straight Path STRP.A surged more than 30 percent to after an unnamed telecommunications company raised its offer to buy the wireless spectrum holder for about $3.1 billion, trumping a bid by AT&T T.N .

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 2.25 points, or 0.04 percent, on volume of 23,848 contracts.

Tyson Foods was the biggest S&P loser, down 6.08 per cent after the meat processor reported a slump in quarterly profit.

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The S&P 500 closed at a record level on Friday, encouraged by a sharp rebound in U.S.jobs growth and as investors bought beaten-down energy shares.

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