Seagulls Soar into Quarter End
How rebalance timing impacts buffer strategies
Setting the Table:
Heading into the final trading day of the quarter, the S&P 500 looks to be recovering from the worst of its losses. Still down over 3% in the last three months, we’re above Wednesday’s lows but still far from early September highs. Yesterday in my blog “Red Light Cycles”, I talked a little bit about why this particular month felt like a roller coaster, even though it was exactly the amount of variance expected.
Liquidity across the options markets has been decent if not exceptional. We’re hovering right around the yearly average. Volumes have been lagging the past few days. You know it’s a macro focused market when SPY has its highest volume day of the quarter yet the overall market trades below average (41M vs. 44M).
CBOE launched a very interesting dispersion index yesterday called “DSPX”, which tracks the relative variance between individual components and the S&P 500. This calculation has long been the domain of prop traders who attempt to arbitrage single stock variance against index variance.
By creating a basket of (typically) short components and long index volatility, there is often an edge. A deeper primer on Moontower is a great read.
What the index hopes to do is support futures and eventually ETFs that allow people to trade this overall level, and in theory push the market towards greater efficiency.
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