The Cboe Volatility index rose on Monday, but it is on track for its biggest monthly decline in more than a year. The VIX is down 21% over the month of April, its biggest monthly decline since November 2016. Wall Street’s so-called “fear index,” which uses S&P 500 options to calculate expectations for volatility over the coming 30 days, last traded at 15.86, well below its long-term average of roughly 20. The large decline in the month comes amid a fairly strong period for equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.6% over the month while the S&P 500 is up 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite Index is up 0.3%. Despite the monthly drop, the VIX remains up 44% thus far this year, although that steep percentage increase reflects that the index is trading at low levels, which means small point moves result in large percentage changes. Last year, the VIX traded at historic lows. On Monday, the VIX rose 3.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% while the S&P 500 was down 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.6%.