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Witching Hour in Stock Trading

The witching hour in finance, particularly in stock markets, typically refers to the final hour of trading on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December.This period is significant because it marks the simultaneous expiration of three different types of derivatives contracts: stock index futures, stock index options, and single stock futures or options. This convergence of expirations can lead to heightened volatility and increased trading volume as investors and traders rush to adjust or close out their positions before these contracts expire worthless.

For example, let's say it's the third Friday of June, which is a triple witching day. During the witching hour, traders may scramble to close out their positions in S&P 500 index futures, NASDAQ 100 index options, and options or futures contracts for individual stocks such as Apple or Google. This flurry of activity can create rapid price movements and increased trading volumes as market participants react to changes in their positions or attempt to capitalize on short-term trading opportunities.

The witching hour, especially during triple witching days, is a critical period for traders and investors to monitor, as it can have a significant impact on market dynamics and the pricing of various financial instruments.


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