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Clouds forming?

The CBOE Volatility index, known as the “fear index,” jumped to its highest level since Nov. 8. The index closed at 15.07 on Tuesday, 3 points higher than its 100-day average.

Among the factors contributing to the market’s waning confidence were the U.S. airstrikes on Syria, escalating rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea, and political tensions surrounding the French presidential election.

The index measures the market’s expectations of volatility derived from near-term options prices of the S&P 500. The index was first introduced in 1993 and is widely used to gauge short-term views of market performance.