US Equity Indexes were rather directionless today and wound up slightly lower, while volatility in the options markets ticked up slightly. Once again, commodity markets at CME Group were relatively active as grains prices were lower, WTI Crude Oil futures prices rose again and industrial metals prices (Copper and Platinum) were generally higher. The grains markets were particularly interesting as the USDA Supply/Demand report (WASDE) was released yesterday and we saw a big price move today. The implied volatility story is somewhat interesting in the grains markets as well in that if you just look at the 30-day implied volatility in the Corn and Soybean markets, for example, you’d see a measurable decline in volatility levels over the last couple of days. However, when you compare it to where it was at this time of year in every year since 2015, you find that the implied level remains substantially elevated. The bright green line in the QuikStrike graphs below illustrate this nicely.
In perhaps more exciting news, at long last, we will be offering our In FOCUS readers a chance to answer a trivia question (market-related), have some fun and win a gift certificate! Beginning next week, twice a month (randomly, so you have to be a regular reader!) we will include a “Question of the Day” in the newsletter. All correct answers will be entered in a random drawing for an Amazon gift card.