Traders load up on market insurance on fears of a contested election

A pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 26, 2020.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The chances of a contested presidential election are on the rise and traders are gearing up for big market swings after the Nov. 3 contest.

Futures contracts that track the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) that are set to expire after the election are holding at elevated levels. The VIX futures contract set to expire Nov. 18 — 15 days after the election — is trading above 31, according to FactSet. VIX futures contracts expiring Dec. 16 and Jan. 20 are both trading above 28.

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