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CFTC grants registration to LedgerX to trade options on bitcoin; Options traders bet on U.S. steel stocks ahead of tariffs decision; Riding the Wave – Speed, Algos and Consolidation Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Crypto-innovations Jim Kharouf – JLN One look at today’s newsletter will tell you something – the traditional Wall Street system is ripe for disruption. The JLN piece on Overstock.com’s subsidiary Round One: How Overstock.com and tzero aim to knock out Wall Street shows how that firm is focused on using blockchain and its new Alternative Trading System ATS to do everything from trading securities via a blockchain, to finding an after hours trading niche. But tzero aims to create much more than that. While it’s still early days, it is not hard to imagine using the blockchain…

VIX Hedging and College Sports; Convergex’s CEO Noll to Leave Firm; China Considers Changing Yuan Fixing Formula to Curb Swings Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Options Adoption: Growth Potential in the Advisory Space JohnLothianNews.com In this JLN video, Emily Sweet, senior analyst with Cerulli Associates, goes through some key findings from a study the firm conducted titled “How Financial Advisors Use and Think About Exchange-listed Options.” The study, sponsored by the Options Industry Council, surveyed 600-plus financial advisors who both use and do not use options on behalf of clients. Read the rest and watch the video » Lead Stories VIX Hedging and College Sports Matt Levine Bloomberg We talked on Wednesday about the CBOE Volatility Index, the VIX, which is an…

Uncovering the Secret History of Wall Street’s Largest Oil Trade; Cowen Group to Buy Brokerage Firm Convergex for $116 Million; Hedge funds square up most of their former record bullish position in oil Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight March Marketshare via OCC ++++++ No Garfield Needed – A Good Case of the Mondays at CME Spencer Doar – JLN Yesterday was the first trading day for CME’s Monday weekly options on the S&P 500 and E-Mini S&P. The launch comes after the success of the Wednesday weeklies that were launched in September 2016 — now some 50-60k of the Wednesday contracts are traded daily. The CME debuted Mondays this month ahead of the French elections after seeing how much trading activity other political events of 2016 caused during off-hours. “What’s interesting is that even though…

Virtu and KCG – A Tale of Technical Leverage?; Cowen in talks to buy Convergex; Wall St volatility gauge closes at highest level of 2017 Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Bits & Pieces By John J. Lothian John Lothian News has learned that OCC President and COO Mike McClain has resigned and left the organization. His last day was two days ago when the OCC held a goodbye event in Chicago. The official narrative is that he left for personal reasons, including the continued attention to his wife, who is battling illness. Other sources have cited the high turnover the OCC has seen in recent years and some of the pressures at the core of that for McClain’s departure. McClain had been with the OCC for 15…

Post-Bitcoin Technology Has Geeks, Giants, and Hackers Excited; Acting SEC chair plans test to lower exchange fees; Cowen Group in talks to buy brokerage Convergex John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Bits & Pieces By John J. Lothian John Lothian News has learned that OCC President and COO Mike McClain has resigned and left the organization. His last day was two days ago when the OCC held a goodbye event in Chicago. The official narrative is that he left for personal reasons, including the continued attention to his wife, who is battling illness. Other sources have cited the high turnover the OCC has seen in recent years and some of the pressures at the core of that for McClain’s departure. McClain had been with the OCC for 15 years…

Investors Look Past Headlines as Bull Market Roars Ahead; Wall Street’s Trading Revival Risks Relapse as Volatility Ebbs; Why the VIX Has Been Acting So Weird Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Bits & Pieces By John J. Lothian We have added Johan Toll of Nasdaq to our March 1 Stockholm MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity event. He will speak about blockchain. Unfortunately, Patrick Thornton-Smith of Duco had a conflict come up and will not be able to present. We hope to get PTS in the fall in London. John Damgard has agreed to speak at our July 21 event in Chicago. We are beginning work on lining up speakers for this summer’s series. Chicago is scheduled for July 17, 19 and 21. New York is set for July…

Record Equity Investor Calm Means It’s Cheap to Hedge Trump Risk; Thesys to run massive U.S. securities markets trade depository; CBOE Holdings Stockholders Approve Share Issuance In Bats Merger Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Hungry for more: Dash Financial Sees Opportunity In A New Broker Landscape Jim Kharouf – JLN For some firms today, being young has its advantages. Dash Financial might just be one of those young and agile companies that can take advantage of the currents that are pushing and pulling the industry. Later this quarter Dash is expected to complete its acquisition of LiquidPoint, Convergex’s options brokerage and technology business, thus giving the combined firm 13 percent of the equity options and index options market volume. That’s more than double the current marketshare Dash Financial has quickly built…

Dash and LiquidPoint to Merge to Create Dash Financial Technologies; Volatility To Return In A Big Way This Year; 7 New Year’s Resolutions for the Options Investor Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight OCC 2016 Cleared Contract Volume Fifth Highest Ever OCC OCC, the world’s largest equity derivatives clearing organization, today announced 2016 total cleared contract volume reached 4,167,747,777 contracts, a one percent decrease from the 2015 volume of 4,210,542,258 contracts. The year ended with 337,076,118 cleared contracts in December, a three percent decrease from December 2015. OCC also reported record-breaking volume for cleared futures, with 104,523,581 cleared contracts in 2016; a 56 percent increase from 2015. /goo.gl/Unwa82 December Marketshare via OCC Lead Stories Dash and LiquidPoint to Merge to Create Dash Financial Technologies PRNewswire Dash Financial announced today that…

OCC Names New CFO, Treasurer, and Chief Compliance Officer; Volume on Oil Derivatives Hits Record as Traders Eye $60 a Barrel; OPEC Deal Upends Everything in Oil Market, Not Just Prices Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight November Options Exchange Marketshare via OCC ++++ The View from Convergex: Reinvention, Options and Market Structure Spencer Doar – JLN It may come as a surprise that Convergex, the agency brokerage with headquarters in New York, has a hand in approximately 20 percent of all options routed through U.S. listed options exchanges and actually executes some 8 percent of daily options volume. The company has been reinventing itself over the last two-and-a-half years under the leadership of Eric Noll, who became CEO in the wake of a 2013 settlement. Convergex’s reputation took a hit when it admitted…