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Futures: Much Ado About Nothing

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The FOMC concluded its two-day meeting this afternoon, releasing their standard statement to the public at its closing. Today's statement, as expected, failed to deliver anything outside of street expectations and was essentially a non-event. However, what the Fed failed to say, or in other words failed to make clear, did not bode well for the futures market.

After initially trading flat on the announcement, futures sold off across the board with the E-mini S&P 500 contract for December delivery trading as low as 1752, down .85% on the day and the December Gold contract, trading as high as 1360 in early morning trade, hitting an intraday low of 1335. This sell off carried over into the bond market with the 10-year Treasury seeing yields climb as high as 2.55% after trading around 2.48% pre-statement.

So what was the catalyst for this sell off, which has left many investors scratching their head? Believe it or not, it was nothing. The Federal Reserve said nothing that might lead the street to believe that a December taper is off the table. Therefore, with no formal mention that the Fed plans on taking its $85 billion per month bond buying program into 2014, investors were forced to position themselves around the possibility that a December taper might in fact be a reality.

While I believe today's market action to be a knee jerk reaction, what it speaks to is the "jittery" nature that will exist around Fed speak and key economic data in the months ahead. As I said in my Oct. 3 article on, "nimble" will be the word of the month for investors. I can now say with almost 100% certainty that nimble will likely be the word for the next six months. With that said make sure you have a grasp on your current exposure to risk and hedge accordingly. These are the kind of markets that can quickly have you upside down in a position.

Travis McGhee


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At the time of publication, Travis McGhee held no positions in the stocks or issues mentioned.

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