Sector reshuffling and a quadruple witching hour triggered a burst of trading across the exchanges. Who knew?
An overhaul of Wall Street’s technology and media sectors coincided with the quarterly expiration of futures and options, bringing a burst of volume to trading late on Friday that could continue in the days that follow.
After the close on Friday, S&P Dow Jones Indices was poised to reorganize several of its sectors and relaunch its telecommunications index as a new communication services sector.
About 10.87 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges on Friday, the highest volume since Feb. 9 and one of the highest-volume sessions of the year, according to Thomson Reuters. A big chunk of the volume came in the last 15 minutes of the session.
The telecom sector, currently about 2 percent of the entire S&P 500, is expected to have a roughly 11 percent weighting under its new communication services tag. Technology, with a roughly 26 percent weighting, is expected to fall to about 20 percent. Consumer discretionary is likely to drop from 13 percent to about 11 percent.
My take: Did I miss the memo where they warned investors this was coming?
UPDATE: Friend-of-the-blog Slavka Glaser passes along a link to The Big Sector Shakeup Is About to Hit the Stock Market. Blink and You Might Miss It in Barron’s ($) Friday. Too bad I let my subscription lapse.
See also: Someone gobbled up a ton of Apple Friday