E WhatsTrading Recap - 02/09/2015

The S&P 500 is falling to session lows heading into the final hour Monday. With no important economic data due until Thursday’s Retail Sales numbers and no earnings of broad market significance so far this week, it’s been a light volume, slow news day.

Treasury bonds saw modest weakness and the yield on the ten-year Treasury ticked up to 1.95%. Crude oil added $1.10 to $52.79 and gold gained $7 to $1241.50.

Energy (XLE) is bucking the bearish trend and ticking modestly higher along with crude. But outside of energy, the losses are widespread across all S&P sectors. Traditionally defensive sectors of the market – utilities (XLU), healthcare (XLV), consumer staples (XLP) – are suffering the big percentage losses.

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 1.70 to 19.

Trading in the options market is well below normal levels. 5.5 million calls and 4.9 million puts traded across the exchanges so far. Projected volume for the day is 12.3 million contracts and about 25% less than the recent daily average.

The drop off in turnover is particularly noticeable across the exchange-traded funds. Roughly 3 million contracts traded in SPDR 500 Trust (SPY), iShares Small Cap Fund (IWM) and other ETFs, which is only about half the normal levels.

Big individual equity trades Monday included a buyer of 65,800 Feb 48 calls on Williams Companies (WMB), a buyer of 54,000 Microsoft (MSFT) Mar 50 calls, and a buyer of 20,000 Cisco (CSCO) Mar 28 calls. The print in Cisco is noteworthy as the networking company is due to release earnings Wednesday.

Disclosure:None

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