Options Trading News

March 21, 2014  Fri 11:02 AM CT

The market is doing its best to frustrate bulls and bears this year.

If you are a bull, you are both heartened by the fact that winding down of tapering (quantitative easing, or QE), the conflict in Ukraine/Crimea, and a series of horrible winter storms have failed to knock the market down. Still, you have to wonder whether the struggle against all of the above has sapped the market's strength.

The bears have had thin gruel as well, as the first quarter brought nearly everything you could hope for to take the market down, yet the S&P 500 is unchanged on the year. Now bears have to worry what happens if the news and catalysts turn more positive (which is likely, especially on the weather front), with the prospect of the SPX trading to or through 2000 in the quarter.

There is also some concern over today's "quadruple witching," which marks the expiration of contracts for index options, index futures, single-stock options, and single-stock futures. But I think that everyone that needed to roll out of expiring March options has already done it, so I don't anticipate anything significant from expiry at the end of today's session.

One thing I do believe could muck things up, however, is how we trade into tax season. Cash paid to IRS is due April 15, and the market could be vulnerable if bad weather or Ukrainian issues return and coincide with a flight of cash to pay taxes.
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