NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With the VIX near $12.50, TheStreet's Jill Malandrino asked Mark Sebastian, COO of Option Pit, how long it will take before it goes higher.

According to Sebastian, the VIX -- shorthand for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index -- could stay below $15 for a while. However, there is a rather large spread between cash VIX and the VIX futures, he added, noting that the 2.25 point difference is enormous.

This quarter's earnings have not provided any spark to the slouching volatility levels. Sebastian said that it seems like every good report is followed by a bad one, and joked that it feels like a conspiracy to make the market stay flat.

Turning to sectors and individual stocks, Malandrino said it now seems like a non-event for Apple's ( AAPL) earnings announcement, unlike in past years.

Sebastian said the story with Apple was over and now it looks more like a slow-growth Microsoft ( MSFT), rather than a faster-growing Google ( GOOG).

Also, the option straddle price on Apple heading into earnings is the cheapest it's been in quite some time, costing roughly $20 for the $425 straddle.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. .

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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