“Alex Perry’s Optionstopia” takes a look at this week’s options news highlights: CFTC History Made with Four Women Commissioners; CME Group Launches Micro-Sized Options; Meme Stocks Surge in Trading
Options News Script
This week: Four women make C-F-T-C history, the C-M-E Group launches micro-sized options, and meme stocks make a comeback.
This is Alex Perry with John Lothian News, and this is your recap of options and market news from the week. Here are some of the week’s, top stories:
Four women join CFTC in U.S. Senate vote hailed as historic
Pete Schroeder – Reuters
History was made as the U.S. Senate voted and confirmed four women to become the CFTC’s newest commissioners, right before the end of Women’s History Month in March. Reuters reported that Kristin N. Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero were President Biden’s nominees for the Democratic seats, and Summer Mersinger and Caroline D. Pham will occupy Republican seats for a bipartisan commission. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan issued a comment, noting that “This confirmation makes history because all four nominees are women, three of whom are women of color.” CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam, and former CFTC Chairman and current FIA President Walt Lukken, both issued statements congratulating the new commissioners.
CME Group Announces Launch of Micro-Sized Bitcoin and Ether Options
CME group kicked off the week by launching micro-sized options. The exchange said in a news release that its Micro Bitcoin and Micro Ether futures are “Sized at one-tenth of their respective underlying tokens in size.” These micro-sized options will add to CME’s assortment of micro products, which also include Micro Crypto, Micro Metals, and Micro Treasury Yields. The company says that its slate of micro products has “traded more than 1.2 billion contracts since their introduction.” The CME is also expected to launch an options contract on North European Hot-Rolled Coil Steel (Argus) futures on May 2, pending regulatory review.
CME Group appoints new directors for its FX team and BrokerTec platform; New directors bring a wealth of experience to CME Group, having served at NatWest Markets, TFSEdge and Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
CME Group also appointed new directors just last week — one for its FX team and one for its BrokerTec platform. The Trade reported that Chris Povey will be the director of the London-based FX team, where he’ll be “overseeing the development, management and growth of CME Group’s listed FX options business.” Meanwhile, Nick Gant will become director of BrokerTec, which CME describes as an “anonymous dealer-to-dealer electronic trading platform for fixed income markets.” Both the FX team and the BrokerTec director roles are based in London.
Cboe continues global expansion with changes to technology and international finance senior leadership; The promotions follow swathes of recent senior leadership changes made by the exchange operator to reflect its growing presence globally.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
In the spirit of leadership changes, Cboe is doing some promotions of its own. Tim Lipscomb was promoted to senior vice president and chief technology officer, where he’ll lead efforts surrounding Cboe’s exchange, data and clearing platforms, according to The Trade. Stephanie Renner, CFO of Cboe Europe, was promoted to senior vice president of international finance, which is a newly created role.
Meme-Stock Mania Returns With Big Swings and Flood of Retail Money
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
Finally, meme stocks made headlines once again as “Meme-Stock Mania” returns. Bloomberg reported that 37 meme stocks surged 45% in “out-of-the-money” call options. The high trading volume prompted a pause in trading on Tuesday morning. Meme stocks like AMC and Gamestop reportedly closed at the highest levels in months, and according to Bloomberg, “Retail traders snapped up $48.1 million in AMC shares [on] Monday… while GameStop saw a $2.4 million inflow, the most since January.” Despite the comeback, billionaire investor Bill Gross thinks that this spike in meme stock trading is only temporary. Business Insider notes that Gross said, “Both companies have ‘very little’ behind them, and their stocks will fall.”
That’s all for now, but be sure to tune in to this week’s edition of John’s Take. Also, be sure to check out our “Options Term of the Week,” presented by Euronext. Fast approaching is the 40th annual Options Industry Conference, held on May 10-12 in San Antonio, TX.
THIS HAS BEEN ALEX PERRY FOR JLN. THANKS, AND WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.