Commodity Futures Trading Commission

MarketWatch Calls Out Fed To Disprove It Is Manipulating Index Futures

A week ago we presented the observations of TrimTabs' Charles Biderman, who laid out a logical case for why there is significant circumstantial evidence that the Fed is manipulating markets by purchasing index futures in the aftermarket: "One way to manipulate the stock market would be for the Fed or the Treasury to buy $20 billion, plus or minus, of S&P 500 stock futures each month for a year. Depending on margin levels, $20 billion per month would translate into at least $100 billion in notional buying power...This type of intervention could explain some of the unusual market action in recent months, with stock prices grinding higher on low volume even as companies sold huge amounts of new shares and retail investors stayed on the sidelines. For example, Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge has pointed out that virtually all of the market’s upside since mid-September has come from after-hours S&P 500 futures activity." Today MarketWatch has an open appeal to the Fed to put Biderman's allegation to rest by publicly disproving that it is involved in any direct market manipulation. "Biderman's accusation of PPT market manipulation is another argument in favor of a complete public audit of the Fed's books...there is a widespread belief that the PPT does manipulate stock prices on a daily basis to enrich its pals and screw individual investors. It would be useful to prove them. " We couldn't agree more.

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Gold fell for the first time during last week, off 4% on Friday to $1,162.40 an ounce, the biggest drop since Dec. 1, 2008 after the new U.S. jobs data showed unexpected strength. While gold has some underlying support from central banks and investment funds, there are some indications suggesting gold is moving mostly on momentum, and that a deeper correction may be due.

asiablues's picture

Natural gas price has spiked almost 60 % since Labor Day and prompted investors to believe a V-shape recovery might be near for the brutally battered U.S. natural gas market. However, don’t break out the champagne just yet until you learn more about two of the major factors driving this latest spike, Operation Flow Orders, and the trader's perspective.

More Observations On Market Manipulation Masking As "Providing Liquidity"

And this time it is not those nutcases over at Zero Hedge making the claim, but the reputable New York Times, a place where even more reputable Mexican billionaires go to provide rescue financing. The NYT discloses how Chicago-based traders (what is it with Chicago style [blank] - first in politics (no comment needed there), and now in every story about market manipulation) Optiver, may have been openly gaming the commodities market using HFT strategies.

The CFTC Is Seeking Your Feedback

Today, the CFTC announced that it is seeking public comments on whether the Carbon Financial Instrument listed for trading by the Chicago Climate Exchange performs a significant price discovery function. As the CFTC has lately faced substantial public scrutiny over the potential abuse of its marketplace, it is prudent to carefully evaluate the impact of yet another market that may be abused by several key players.

Whoa, A Glitch In The HFT

From the creator of Citadel's HFT desk for options: "You have multiple HFT trading firms and sometimes their agendas are complementary and sometimes they’re not. There could be a time where these HFT programs unintentionally collaborate and you have a two- or three-minute period where the markets are going crazy. Then other traders respond to it and it simply gets out of control."