S&P500 Mini Speculators cut back on their bullish bets into January

February 9, 2019

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S&P500 Mini Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large stock market speculators cut back on their bullish net positions in the S&P500 Mini futures markets into January, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

This latest COT data is from early in January due to the government shutdown which halted the releases. The CFTC is releasing data on Tuesdays and Fridays going forward until the data is back up to date.

The non-commercial futures contracts of S&P500 Mini futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 131,833 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday January 8th. This was a weekly decrease of -33,678 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 165,511 net contracts.

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The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) falling by -27,138 contracts to a weekly total of 392,666 contracts combined with the gross bearish (shorts) position which saw an increase by 6,540 contracts for the week to a total of 260,833 contracts.

The net speculative position fell for a third straight week and by a total of -78,433 contracts over that period through January 8th. The spec standing on January 8th marked the lowest level in the previous five weeks.

S&P500 Mini Commercial Positions:

The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -199,016 contracts on the week. This was a weekly rise of 48,147 contracts from the total net of -247,163 contracts reported the previous week.

S&P500 Mini Futures:

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the S&P500 Mini Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $2572.50 which was a rise of $67.25 from the previous close of $2505.25, according to unofficial market data.

*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).

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