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If the stock market plunged on Thursday afternoon because of a technical glitch, you wouldn't know it from the behaviour of the CBOE VIX volatility index . Everyone's favourite fear gauge has been in a deep slumber throughout most of this year, but it spiked up by about 50 per cent on Thursday, hitting a high of nearly 41.

That's its highest level since April, 2009, soon after North American stock markets began to recover from multi-year lows in the wake of the devastating financial crisis and ensuing recession.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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