By Angela Moon and Doris Frankel
April 19 Options trading volume on Friday turned
out to be in line with any given options expiration day as
trading picked up despite a lockdown in much of Boston, a major
U.S. financial center, as police hunted for a suspect in
Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.
About 20.1 million contracts changed hands in the
U.S.-listed options market on Friday, according to options
analytics firm Trade Alert. That was in line with an average of
21.4 million contracts in equity, index and ETF options over the
past three expiration sessions this year.
"The Boston lockdown appears to have had a minimal impact,"
said WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy.
The options market started off slowly in the morning
session, given Friday is monthly options expiration, which tends
to be a heavily traded session. April options expired on Friday.
But as trading picked up, the option volume in the SPDR S&P
500 Trust, one of the most actively traded
exchange-traded funds, even exceeded recent daily average -
around 3.80 million contracts traded on Friday compared with the
recent average of 2.58 million contracts, Trade Alert data
With major mutual funds in Boston including Fidelity
Investments, Pioneer Investments and Eaton Vance Corp,
order flow was expected to be lighter than usual, although a
number of Boston-area sources interviewed said many people could
work out of their homes. Those who started work early in the
morning were already in their offices.
In the Boston manhunt, police killed one suspect in a
shootout Thursday night and were searching for a second man
Friday. The streets in the city's financial center were deserted
after authorities urged people to stay home.
Options expiration occurs monthly when the life of an
options contract ends.
Ed Boyle, senior vice president of strategy at the BOX
Options Exchange, said the exchange, based in Boston and
accounting for about 2.1 percent of volume in single-equity and
index options, was open. "The Boston activity has not affected
trading at BOX in any way," he said in an email.