VIX Meets Tough Resistance as Fears of ‘Mini-Shocks’ Persist; GameStop (GME) Stock Slumps Again Amid Wild Ride for Retail Traders

Mar 16, 2021

$31,826/$300,000 (10.6%)
Trish Foshee

Lead Stories

VIX Meets Tough Resistance as Fears of ‘Mini-Shocks’ Persist
Joanna Ossinger – Bloomberg
Cboe Volatility Index closed at lowest since Feb. on Monday; Struggle to break 20 echoes behavior after financial crisis
The stock market’s fear gauge is struggling to breach a key resistance level despite nearing its lowest since the onset of the pandemic — and such behavior has precedent. The Cboe Volatility Index closed Monday at 20.03. That was its lowest since Feb. 12, the date on which it closed below 20 for the first time since the pandemic rout gripped markets last year. The index has had similar difficulties in breaching that level in other times of stress, according to strategists.

GameStop (GME) Stock Slumps Again Amid Wild Ride for Retail Traders
Bailey Lipschultz – Bloomberg
GameStop Corp. sank for a second day and is on pace for its worst back-to-back loss in more than a month as volatility picked up again for the Reddit-touted stock.
Shares dropped as much as 20% to $175.52 in New York as trading volume accelerated compared to recent weeks, while other retail investor favorites like headphone maker Koss Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. dropped alongside GameStop. The broader market was mixed as optimism in the global economic recovery outweighed turmoil in vaccine rollout.

*****JB: Also read Barron’s story, GameStop Stock Fell So Much It Had to be Halted. That Didn’t Stop the Selloff.

Americans ready to pour $40 billion into bitcoin and the stock market as stimulus checks arrive: survey
William Watts – MarketWatch
Another round of stimulus checks could provide a shot in the arm for stocks and, especially, bitcoin, according to a survey released Monday by Mizuho Securities.
The poll of 235 individuals who expect to receive checks courtesy of the latest round of COVID-19 relief signed into law by President Joe Biden found that two out of five recipients plan to invest at least some part of the proceeds into bitcoin and stocks. Based on the responses, around 10% of the total gross payments, or around $40 billion of the $380 billion in direct checks, could be allocated to the world’s most popular digital asset and stock purchases.

US stocks gain ground ahead of $24bn Treasuries auction; Fed meeting set to start under close scrutiny after recent bond volatility
Leke Oso Alabi and Henry Sanderson – FT
Global stocks rose and US government bonds were steady on Tuesday ahead of the latest auction of Treasuries, as market sensitivity to fluctuations in demand for American government debt remained elevated. The auction of 20-year Treasuries totalling $24bn comes just a day before a closely watched Federal Reserve policy decision. Investors have been paying keen attention to Treasury auctions following a poor sale late last month that prompted heavy selling and hectic price moves in the world’s largest bond market.

Exchanges and Clearing

FIA survey shows strong outlook for cleared derivatives markets; China, bitcoin and operations are key focus while pandemic and political risks top concerns
Will Acworth – FIA
FIA conducted a survey at the beginning of 2021 to assess the outlook for the global cleared derivatives industry. The survey gathered feedback from people working at banks, brokers, exchanges, technology vendors and other firms that support the trading and clearing of derivatives such as futures and options.

*****JJL: Survey says…..!!!

CME Group to Launch E-mini Nasdaq-100 Monday and Wednesday Weekly Options on April 12
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it will expand its suite of E-mini Nasdaq-100 options with the launch of Monday and Wednesday Weekly options on April 12, pending regulatory review. These new options contracts will complement the existing Friday Weekly, End-of-Month and Quarterly options on E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures.


Quant Investors Left Reeling as a Booming S&P 500 Trade Misfires
Justina Lee – Bloomberg
Before things went south, Bastian Bolesta made easy money from a quant strategy that worked for years thanks to the rise of automated stock traders on Wall Street. If S&P 500 futures rise, his trading program goes long. If the index drops, it duly puts on a short. Then the money manager just waits for the 4 p.m. bell and closes the position. And repeat.


A New Virtual Experience
The Options Industry Conference is Going Virtual in 2021. Join OCC and the options exchanges for the 39th annual Options Industry Conference, April 28-29, 2021. While the conference will be held virtually for the first time in history, the focus will continue to be the key topics facing the options industry today, from the regulatory shifts in the U.S. and Europe to the technological developments that are driving monumental change in markets around the globe.


“The Boca That Is”; Opening remarks of Walt Lukken, President and CEO of FIA, at the Boca International Derivatives Industry Conference
Walt Lukken –
Public remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Welcome to FIA’s annual Boca International Derivatives Industry Conference. I hope our video intro brought back some fond memories of being in the warmth of south Florida in the company of friends and colleagues. While we are still not able to meet in-person, I am confident that next March I will be at the newly renovated Boca Raton Resort with many of you, with a broad smile on my face. I literally cannot wait! If you want a sneak peek at the new Boca renovations, check out the Boca video in our on-demand section.

Why Markets Have So Much Trouble Pricing the U.S. Recovery
Christopher Smart – Barron’s
It’s not quite “man bites dog,” but the headline will still be a shocker when it lands amid other dry economic news: U.S. OUTPACES CHINA GROWTH THIS YEAR! There are still nine unpredictable months ahead, but leading forecasters predict America will bounce back from last year’s lockdowns with nearly 8% growth in 2021, while Beijing has committed to just above 6%. China certainly contained the pandemic sooner and suffered less, but rich and mature economies aren’t supposed to outpace dynamic upstarts.

(Podcast) OB 981: Equalizing The Options Market
Option Block – Options Insider Radio Network
Host: Mark Longo, The Options Insider Media Group
Co-host: Mark Sebastian, The Option Pit
Co-host: Mike Tosaw, St. Charles Wealth Management

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