Even though the calendar spread strategy can be utilized in various stock market circumstances, they function finest in low volatility situations. Increasing volatility levels help these trades, while sinking volatility winds up hurting them.

Because calendar spreads generate profits the fastest at neutral to rising volatility levels, many calendar spread traders will wait until an underlyings volatility levels are either at the lowest level of their average range or at least until they are in the lower end of their average volatility levels before placing a trade.

By waiting for these lower ranges, the calendar spread trader is increasing his or her odds that the volatility levels will either remain wherever they’re and not go much lower which could wind up hurting the trade, or will start to rise back up which could put their calendar trade into significant earnings pretty swiftly.

Generally the volatility sinks when the current market moves upward and rises when it moves down. This is why many alternative traders will put on calendar spreads when they have a bearish view on the stock they are planning to trade.

A favorite method for option income investors who have a bearish outlook is to put on a calendar spread just below where the market or stock is trading at. If the market or stock they are trading does move down as they believe it will, it will likely move with into the center profit zone of the calendar spread – while at the same time benefiting from the rising volatility that inevitably occurs when there is a bearish move. In such a scenario, a very good profit can be realized in an extremely short period of time.

This method can also be used with the double calendar spread , and in fact many option traders would argue that it would be preferred. Using a calendar spread could increase the probability of taking profit from the trade as it could be placed with a skew that would not only create a wider sweet spot inside the profit tent for the underlying to get caught in, it could also supply an extended profit tent coverage over the area where the underlying is trading at when the trade is first initiated, providing a safety net if it turns out that the traders speculation on direction turns out to be incorrect.

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