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Volatility returns

The VIX index - the market's fear gauge (spaces between dashes) - has shown some life in recent days after spending most of the summer at historic lows. The index moved above its 20-day moving average in the early days of August and has been above that mark for most of the month.

The index jumped more than 4 points on Aug. 8 after the president and the leader of North Korea traded threats of nuclear war, and remained above recent averages as U.S. equities continued to slump and racial tensions heated up the following weekend.