Daily Stock Market Equity and Options Trading Commentary

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Difference Between Options Expiration, Triple Witching, and Quadruple Witching

Triple witching is the stock market trading day after Halloween... Okay I'm just kidding!

Since my blog is all about stocks and options and today is an options expiration, I decided to write this post real quick. Today is a special case of options expiration, it is a quadruple (triple) witching day, so I thought I'd share the difference for those who may not know. First of all quadruple (triple) witching occurs on the third Friday of each of the last months of a quarter (March, June, September, and December). The original term was triple witching and is a phenomenon when stock options, stock index options, and stock index futures all expire on the same day. However when single stock futures (SSF's) were introduced to traders it made it 4 types of instruments all set to on these four days a year, hence quadruple witching. Options expiration is the third Friday of every month, but it is called special names like double, triple and quadruple witching. The day can be extremely volatile, and the final hour of trading is known as the "witching hour" (not kidding this time), so buckle up it may be a bumpy ride.

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