US Equities were mostly higher today as the market looks towards the beginning of earnings season this week. Even though the S&P 500 was slightly higher today, implied volatility in the E-mini S&P 500 options also ticked up, perhaps in anticipation of earnings reports.
CME Group grains markets were active again today with Wheat futures prices up about 4%, Corn up about 3% and Soybeans up about 1.5%. US T-Bond futures prices rallied earlier in the day before breaking and were trading slightly lower in late afternoon action.
Finally, in recognition of CME Group’s successful launch of its new Micro WTI Crude Oil futures contract today, we feel compelled to feature crude oil in today’s column. The new futures contract (MCL) is 1/10 the size of the standard WTI Crude Oil (100 vs 1,000 barrels), tick in the same .01 increment but cash settle one day prior to the CL product. At the time of this writing, the new MCL contract had already traded over 17k contracts on the first day. Even though WTI Crude Oil prices traded in a relatively tight range today, implied volatility moved higher and remains elevated relative to the last 1.5 months, as you can see in the QuikStrike graph below.