Investing.com – US equities opened mixed on Friday with expiration of quarterly options on both individual stocks and index futures (aka Quadruple Witching) that have dominated trading for the past three months.
Quarterly – on the third Friday of March, June, September and December – the index and stock options and futures expire simultaneously. This Friday is called Triple Witching, if expiration occurs on 3 types of contracts: index futures, index options, stock options, or Quadruple Witching, if they are joined by futures on individual stocks.
By 09:40 am ET (13:40 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58 points, or 0.2%, to 27.844, the S&P 500 is up 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite is up 0 , 3%. Later, all three indices went into the “red zone”.
Options expiration can generate significant volatility, although this usually occurs later in the session. As a consequence, the underlying economic data for the day is likely to receive less attention than one would expect. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is due out at 10 am ET (2 pm GMT). Earlier, the US government reported that the country's current account deficit jumped to its highest level since 2008 in the second quarter of this year.
Oracle shares fell 0.9% after reports that President Donald Trump had issued a decree banning the TikTok app as early as Sunday, casting doubt on the ability of Larry Ellison's company to find a way to reconcile the interests of Washington, Beijing and TikTok owner Bytedance. Facebook, a social network that rivals TikTok, grew 1.1% on this news.
Financial stocks fell slightly after the Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it is considering extending the restrictions on bank buybacks and dividend payments it announced earlier this year. Citigroup shares fell 0.7%, while Bank of America shares fell 0.6%.
Cloud data company Snowflake still holds on to most of its debut-day gains. Snowflake fell a modest 2.3%, as did Jfrog, another software company that had an IPO earlier this week.
Video game creator Unity Software, which on Thursday priced its IPO at $ 52 per share, above a bookbuilding range that has already risen once, traded at $ 57-59 early in the day.
Oil and gas stocks came under pressure again as oil prices reversed in response to reports of a peace deal in Libya and an estimated 1 million barrels of oil a day entering the global market. Exxon Mobil shares fell 1.1% to close to their lowest weekly close since March.
By Jeffrey Smith