Today is of course February options expiration, which may explain some of the bizarre behavior and trading that we have seen in VIX. On mild equity weakness yesterday, we saw the VIX trade as high as $12.86 on an intraday basis, only to reverse and actually close lower on the day.
Today, the VIX is barely above $12 and up about 2%, but keep in mind it had a $10 handle just three trading sessions ago.
In other action, we have seen an appetite for upside calls in XLF (SPDR Financial) once again, and this is not a new theme, given the run in the sector since Trump’s election. The March 25 calls have traded in good size this week in XLF, which are slightly out-of-the-money with a month left until expiration.
Note that XLF had a $19 handle prior to the Presidential election just a few months ago. Year-to-date, XLF has pulled in more than $1.3 billion in new assets via creation flows, and a staggering $8.2 billion since the election.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE:XLF) was trading at $24.39 per share on Friday afternoon, down $0.07 (-0.29%). Year-to-date, XLF has gained 4.90%, versus a 4.79% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
Paul Weisbruch is the VP of ETF/Options Sales and Trading at Street One Financial. Prior to joining the team at Street One, Paul served as the Director of RIA and Institutional ETF Sales at RevenueShares ETFs from December 2007 until November of 2009. Before RevenueShares, Paul was employed by Susquehanna International Group from 2000 until 2007 serving in roles including OTC/NYSE Institutional Block Trading, Nasdaq/OTC Market Making, ETF/Derivatives Intelligence and Strategy, Algorithmic Trading, as well as acting as the PHLX Floor Specialist in the ETFs, SPY and DIA.Paul has been actively involved in the ETF space from both a product and trading standpoint since 2000. Additionally, Paul has well forged relationships with national RIAs, institutional pension fund managers and consultants, mutual fund and hedge fund managers, and also the ETF media. Co-authoring the “S1F ETF Daily” since 2009, the daily piece has become a must for many portfolio managers in the ETF space, with segments regularly appearing in the likes of Barron’s, WSJ, and ETFTrends.com for instance.
He holds his Series 4 (Registered Options Principal), 6, 7, 55 (Equity Trader), 63, and 65 licenses. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S. – Economics), graduating magna cum laude, and has an MBA from Villanova University.