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Futures appear to be continuing their Friday sell off — which you may have noted closed significantly better than the worst levels of the day.

A few random thoughts on these things:

Thin: It doesn’t take a lot of cash to push the futures around — the emini SPX contract generates a huge bang for the buck. Looking to manipulate things? Eminis  (rather than InTrade) is how the pros do it.

Misleading: At one point, the post-GOP revolt, Thursday night futures made it appear we were heading to a minus 3% day; instead US markets closed down less than 1%

Noise: I repeat ad nauseum:  98% of the time, day to day action is meaningless.

Rookies manning the terminals: During holiday weeks when the big boys are away, even thinner trading allows for markets to get pushed around even further. Thanksgiving and Xmas week are classic examples.

Witchy: Be aware of days like last Friday that are quadruple witching (futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures) all expire at once. Some traders closely watch strike points to see where prices get temporarily pinned (my timeline is long term so I no longer pay attention to that).

That’s all from the sunny, chilly North shore of Long Island — where I will be throttling back, posting less, and enjoying the holidays.

(Yeah, there’s a reads coming later)

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

7 Responses to “Merry “Look Out Below” Xmas Eve Day”

  1. [...] Stock futures appear to be continuing their Friday sell off (TBP) [...]

  2. Crunchy Breaded Fish Sticks says:


    Really looking forward to your end-of-year update, and what on earth changed your mind from November to December to go “all in” again, so soon after cutting back.

    S&P wasn’t really that oversold in November either…

  3. Concerned Neighbour says:

    The new rule of trading is that futures often, if not always, get ramped prior to market open. This has happened countless times over the previous few years, where instances of the reverse happening are few and far between.

    But I have been told these markets are not manipulated, so it must be my imagination.

  4. Concerned Neighbour says:

    Oh, and surely a 0.5-.75% fall in futures doesn’t merit a “Look out Below” post.

  5. constantnormal says:

    And Barry, whatever the markets bring, be it lumps of coal or diamonds, may you have a Wonderfully Merry Christmas and a the Most Prosperous of New Years’ … (with electrical power throughout)

  6. wally says:

    All the best to you, BR… and big thanks for maintaining this continually informing and entertaining website.

  7. svarada says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to BR and all Fusion IQ participants