The Spread: Reddit On The Internet, So It Must Be True

Matt Raebel

Matt Raebel


This week on The Spread – analysts predict more volatility than usual around the U.S. election, institutional traders watch Reddit to predict price movements, and more.

Produced by Mike Forrester.


Welcome to The Spread, I’m Matt Raebel. It goes without saying that 2020 has been a super chaotic year. Remember in 2016 when all that terrible and – sometimes weird – stuff happened, like there was Gene Wilder’s death and then all those creepy clowns that kept showing up in parks at night, and everybody said it couldn’t get any worse? Well 2020 heard that and was like, “hold my beer.” For one thing, this year’s U.S. presidential election is causing more worry than usual, and options traders are betting on a lot of volatility around November 3rd. Of course,  current wild markets are attributable to a combination of things – obviously the election and the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus are factors, and then there are those damn youths trading on Robinhood! (shakes fist) A greater number of options trades than ever before are coming from retail traders from all over the world with no professional investing experience or education – many of whom are fairly young. Amateur traders on platforms like Robinhood make up about twenty percent of all equity trades now, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. We’ve talked about the popular Reddit page WallStreetBets on this show before – the crass online community that some analysts say is worth taking a closer look at. According to an article published this week by Bloomberg, twelve percent of options trade volume in 2020 has been retail, and a big driver of retail volume has been large, coordinated trades led by anonymous influencers on Reddit. While it would be reductive to say that WallStreetBets is the only online community driving such trading activity, its infamy has gotten to the point where hedge funds and large financial institutions have begun to track the sentiment of these communities to anticipate the price movements of certain stocks. Speaking of crass Internet communities and wild price swings – bitcoin’s price plummeting last week was followed by a ton of bearish options positions being put down by traders on Huobi, the Chinese trading platform that rolled out bitcoin options trading on September 1, and the CME, whose bitcoin options volume has increased almost 48 percent since the beginning of the month. Bitcoin options continue to be as popular as they are novel – besides the spike in trade volume, Pantera Capital led a digital token sales round for a mobile cryptocurrency options trading app called PowerTrade – not to be confused with Powerade, which won’t let you trade bitcoin, but it does have electrolytes. Some quick exchange news before we wrap up: Deutsche Börse – or (midwestern accent) Deutsche Boerse to Chicagoans – officially acquired a majority stake in Quantitative Brokers. Representatives from (midwestern accent) Deutsche Boerse say they wanted to buy the renowned quant team as part of the exchange group’s long-term growth strategy. And that’s gonna do it for this week. We have new articles and podcasts up on John Lothian News dot com, so be sure to check out our site for more news. Until next week, stay safe and happy trading.


Hedge the U.S. Election in Currency Markets
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg

Election Volatility Is Here And Most Intense Than Ever
RCM Alternatives

Wells Fargo says stock market volatility will balloon after US election
Saloni Sardana – Markets Insider

The Wildly Popular Trades Behind the Market’s Swoon and Surge; Record options trading and momentum bets are spurring volatility
Gregory Zuckerman and Gunjan Banerji – WSJ

Reddit’s Stock Threads Become a Must-Read on Wall Street
Sarah Ponczek – Bloomberg

Huobi’s Bitcoin Options offerings leave a mark….. on the CME
Ekta Mourya – AMB Crypto

New Bitcoin Options App Raises $4.7M in Round Led by Pantera Capital
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk

New Bitcoin Options App Raises $4.7M in Round Led by Pantera Capital
Sebastian Sinclair – Coindesk

Deutsche Börse acquires a majority in quantitative brokers, thereby strengthening its strategic focus on the buy side
Deutsche Börse

How to pronounce: Börse (German)
VisualTerra – YouTube

John Lothian Newsletter

Today’s Newsletter

We visit more than 100 websites daily for financial news (Would YOU do that?)

Past The Spread Episodes

The Spread: Tiger Billionaire

The Spread: Tiger Billionaire

This week on The Spread, the unregulated crypto exchange Deribit announces a bitcoin volatility index, the CME says over 1 million micro e-mini equity options contracts traded, and more.

The Spread: Moonshot

The Spread: Moonshot

This week on The Spread, bitcoin options hit records for bullishness, the OCC adds two industry veterans to its board of directors, and more.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This Story