S&P500 Mini Speculators sharply pared their bearish bets this week

March 16, 2019

March 16th – By CountingPips.comReceive our weekly COT Reports by Email

S&P500 Mini Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large stock market speculators reduced their bearish net positions in the S&P500 Mini futures markets for the second time in three weeks, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

The non-commercial futures contracts of S&P500 Mini futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of -66,898 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday March 12th. This was a weekly change of 36,489 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -103,387 net contracts.

The week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position (longs) ascending by 10,927 contracts to a weekly total of 339,702 contracts combined with the gross bearish position (shorts) which saw a fall by -25,562 contracts for the week to a total of 406,600 contracts.

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The speculator position has risen rather sharply for two out of the past three weeks following a nine-week streak of weakening speculator bets from December to February. The spec standing dropped into bearish territory in late January after the markets took a thrashing in December, reaching a recent high of -130,834 contracts on February 19th.

Since that high point, bearish bets have cooled off and now sit at their lowest level since January 22nd. Overall, spec positions have been in a bearish state for eight consecutive 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 64,069 contracts on the week. This was a weekly fall of -39,536 contracts from the total net of 103,605 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 $2797.25 which was a gain of $5.75 from the previous close of $2791.50, 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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