For all intents and purposes 2020 has already been the most contentious and violent U.S. election season in living memory. With a nation in a state of a cold civil war one would assume that the financial markets would take note. And under the hood they did indeed respond by keeping implied volatility elevated throughout the year. However, with the exception of a much overdue correction earlier this month we currently seem to be in a pre-election holding pattern. What should we make of that and where are we heading next?
The past four sessions turned into a wild ride but as of the Friday open the SPX has been getting nowhere fast and finds itself almost exactly where it started the week. This puts us in a very interesting situation for one main reason: With a monthly and a weekly contract expiring this morning, a 70 handle EM range, and quite a bit of gamma risk there is potential for a significant move today.
Financials kicked off the final earnings season of 2020 and as a card carrying manic market megalomaniac it is incumbent on me to start parsing for potential IV squeeze victims. Much to the chagrin of some of you directional cowboys that is my favorite play but I would be remiss to not point out that implied volatility is not the only way to play earnings. But let’s take things from the top by looking at the overall market:
While the SPX has been retesting overhead resistance big tech (e.g. MSFT, AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, FB) continues to linger near recent support levels. That’s a bit surprising given that the NDX immediately surged higher on Tuesday. Whether or not we are looking at sector rotation again, this retest offers us a short term entry opportunity with very defined risk. Just the way we like it.