The VIX uses options pricing to measure the market’s expectations for future swings in the S&P 500. It tends to fall when stocks rise. The VIX came close to 50 last summer when stocks were swooning and many were fearing a double-dip recession. It was also over 30 as recently as early December. But the VIX has had a relatively smooth ride lower throughout much of 2012.
If volatility comes back (a measure of risk), expect stock prices to fall to compensate new stock purchasers for bearing the additional risk.