Last Friday, when the market was down only 2%, we presented readers with a note which promptly became the most read piece across Wall Street trading desks, which was written by JPM’s head quant Marko Kolanovic, who correctly calculated the option gamma hedging imbalance into the close, and just as correctly predicted the closing dump on Friday which according to many catalyzed Monday’s “limit down” open.
Given that the market is already down ~2%, we expect the market selloff to accelerate after 3:30PM into the close with peak hedging pressure ~3:45PM. The magnitude of the negative price impact could be ~30-60bps in the absence of any other fundamental buying or selling pressure into the close.
We bring it up because Kolanovic is out with another note, one which may be even more unpleasant for bulls who, looking at nothing but price action, were convinced that after the biggest two day market jump in history, the worst is behind us.
In the just released note, the head JPM quant warns that a large pool of assets controlled by price-insensitive managers including derivatives hedgers, Trend Following strategies (CTAs), Risk Parity portfolios and Volatility Managed strategies, which is programmatically trading equities regardless of underlying fundamentals, is about to start selling equities, “and will negatively affect market in coming days and weeks.” For good measure, he casually tosses the word “crash” in the note as well.
By way of reference, JPM notes that a good example of how price-insensitive sellers can cause market a disruption/crash is the price action on the US Monday open. It says that technical selling related to various hedging programs, in an environment of low (pre-market) liquidity indeed caused a ‘flash crash’ on Monday’s open. SP 500 futures hit a 5% limit down preopen, and then a 7% limit low at