Key Takeaways with Craig
US Equity prices were mixed and Treasury yields were slightly lower as we enter 2nd quarter trading in what was another relatively quiet day. Despite a decline in the E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures, implied volatility (“vol”) in the options markets fell today and at the money 30-day vol is trading at the lowest level we’ve seen in a year, as you can see in the QuikStrike graph below. Vol in the E-mini S&P 500 options was also down, bringing it to levels last seen in mid-August, 2022. CVOL levels in CME’s Treasury options, on the other hand, rose slightly with the decline in yields.
Energy markets grabbed headlines today after OPEC’s decision over the weekend to cut oil production. WTI Crude Oil futures for May delivery were up by about 6.25% today, trading at over $80 per barrel for the first time in about a month. Natural Gas futures prices, on the other hand, were down by over 4.5% and trading near 1-year lows. Somewhat interestingly, neither WTI Crude Oil nor Nat Gas options saw significant moves in volatility associated with the futures price moves.
Looking ahead, the market will be watching several employment related reports this week, including the monthly Employment Situation report on Friday for the latest readings on the health of the US labor market. It is worth noting that, due to the Good Friday holiday, the cash equity market will be closed Friday while CME will be open for modified hours. Specifically at CME, Interest Rate markets will be open until 10:15 (10:00 for TAS) Chicago time and Equity markets will be open until 8:15 Chicago time. A full holiday schedule, including all listed asset classes, for this Friday can be found here.
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