S&P500 Mini Speculators raised their bearish bets strongly into February

February 23, 2019

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S&P500 Mini Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large stock market speculators added to their bearish net positions in the S&P500 Mini futures markets in February, 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 February due to the government shutdown which suspended the releases for approximately a month. 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 -116,178 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday February 5th. This was a weekly decrease of -92,960 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -23,218 net contracts.

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The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) sliding by -40,618 contracts to a weekly total of 340,646 contracts compared to the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a lift by 52,342 contracts for the week to a total of 456,824 contracts.

The speculative net position dropped for the seventh straight week and by a total of -326,444 contracts over that period. The February 5th standing for the SPMini futures was at the lowest level since December of 2016.

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 17,046 contracts on the week. This was a weekly boost of 101,006 contracts from the total net of -83,960 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 $2731.00 which was a rise of $90.75 from the previous close of $2640.25, 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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