Dave Lutz, the head of Exchange Traded Funds at JonesTrading, has an overview of what is happening in markets:
- It’s quadruple witching Friday, the once-a-quarter day when various stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures expire. These days have become known for the unusual level of trading that takes place on or around them, and they have been named “witching” days after the three witches of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”
- Treasurys are stronger after six days of selling, while the dollar is pulling back from the 14-year high it hit after the Fed raised interest rates on Wednesday.
- In economic data, housing starts and building permits for November cross at 8:30 a.m.
Good Morning, and Happy Quad Witch Friday! Should be an active session for the quants, with many ETFs going Ex-Divvy (Like SPY) and multiple Index families doing rebalances. Spoos are trading about 20bp higher as expiry magnets prevail into the opening. Over in Europe, Pretty much a sea of green, Euro Stoxx 50 Erases 2016 Drop with the DAX climbing 30bp and busting upside 11,400 — with every sector climbing. Banks act well across the continent, despite the overnight pullback in Yields. Monte dei Paschi di Siena don’t seem to be sparking activity, while Stockholm’s exchange continues to see outflows. FTSE thru 7,000 and a rebound in the miners has London up 40bp. In Asia, Nikkei climbed 60bp – Shanghai gained small, but had the largest weekly loss in 8months — Aussie was down small, and EM Asia bouncing back small from the week’s drubbing.
Treasuries reversing six days of declines and the DXY retreating from 14yeat highs as a sense of calm prevailed in FX overnight. China continued to weaken the yuan to the weakest level since May 2008, but HIBOR retreated and $/Y consolidates. A Sharp bid to Bunds has Treasury Yields off 30bp, while the Euro’s gains offset losses from the commodity currencies. WTI up 75bp into the Rig Count later today, but Natty Gas continues to get clubbed on the weather forecasts. Gold clawing back from February lows, but Copper is off nearly 1% as Ore retreated in China.
Ahead of us today, we get Housing Starts and Building Permits for November at 8:30 — The 1st FOMC speaker since the Hike is on deck at 12:30 when Richmond’s Lacker (Hawk, Non-Voter) and Bank of America’s Moynihan Speak in Charlotte. At 1pm we get the Baker Hughes Rig Count, and at 3:30 the “Commitment of Traders” data hits. For Expiry — Options on Index and futures on the open (They expired yesterday yet the settlement value is determined on the opening print), while Options on Singles and ETF’s expire on the closing 4pm bell.
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