Using VIX in combination with CDS premiums (how much a company has to pay to borrow) indicates to me volatility in the market and risk of owning an individual stock (along with Beta). There's a more accurate/up-to-date way of doing things with VIF and VIN.
Now, here is the fun part. It is a little known fact that the CBOE actually maintains separate indices for the near-term month VIX (VIN) and the far-term month VIX (VIF). Just pop those tickers into your streaming quotes and you too can watch not just the VIX, but the two components used in the VIX constant maturity blend. Right now, for instance, I show a VIX of 17.88, a VIN of 16.98 and a VIF or 18.23. Just be sure to keep track of the SPX options series roll eight trading days before the VIX options expiration.
There are even some ties to individual stock prices.