Loveland Ski Resort an hour up I-70 from downtown Denver logged 26 inches of snow in the past five days. We’ve had to cover patio plants the past two nights as temperatures dipped to 30. It’s bright and clear. But winter has had a hard time letting go this year.

Meanwhile in Europe, Morgan Stanley launched a lending book for European Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) today. Here is the key to understanding financial reform currently mucking up Congress. It encapsulates everything that’s wrong with today’s capital markets. (more…)

Goldman Sachs or Expirations?

We hope none of you are marooned in Europe by volcanic ash. If you are, we’ll try to keep your minds off the extra money you’re spending with the shocking suggestion that markets writhed last week not for Goldman Sachs but for expirations.

The SEC last week sued Goldman Sachs for misleading investors about certain collateralized debt obligations during the subprime mortgage meltdown. (more…)

Quant Trading at the Hudson

Spring finally tossed its verdant cape over the Denver Front Range. We saw it firsthand on our bikes from Sedalia to Palmer Lake last weekend, our first 40-plus miler of the year. It’s been too cold! We know you Californians among us are already past the early and midseason allergens.

Meanwhile in Manhattan, down on Old Slip between Water and South streets there hums and whizzes a sharp shop of folks whose cares are far removed from the seasons. And apparently geography too, for Hudson River Trading sits just off the East River. (more…)

Sorry we’re late this week! We’re in Las Vegas and the Market Structure Map wanted to stay in Vegas, apparently.

Program trading jumped about 10% in the first few trading days of April, compared to March. We define program trades as mathematical execution in more than one stock at a time that follows a market trend. We believe the increase in part reflects improved institutional and retail commitments to various equity index vehicles. But it also shows how “market neutral” trading strategies that continuously buy and sell a wide variety of securities to achieve small profits when netted out have become mainstream.

It shows up in interesting ways. (more…)

Market Structure in 3D

Show me examples.

When I was a fresh-faced goofy college kid, my Logic professor, who was Greek and credible with his Hellenic accent, would say that a thing was theory only until you provided examples in the real world.

We hear that notion regularly. “So what exactly do you see with market structure? Give us some examples.” You asked. We’re doing it. We’ll aim to give you them regularly. Each will be an actual, real-world example, though the confidential nature of the data we track may preclude names. (more…)

Can’t You Be More Positive?

My lovely bride Karen said, “Maybe you should be less negative in the Market Structure Map.”

Only fort-two and I’m turning into a grousing old goat! I doubt many of you would disagree that I’ve sniped about the state of the markets the past few issues. There is method to my madness though. We want investor-relations professionals to be powerful, relevant, informed and cool. We believe knowing market structure is key to coolness.

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