Early S&P move on jobs has traders crying ‘leak!’

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Ahead of the monster September jobs report, S&P futures began to tick upward in an almost uni-directional move. And some call that an indication that some major players in the market got the bullish information early.

"I don't know of any issues or problems with the release of the data this morning," said Gary Steinberg, Bureau of Labor Statistics press officer.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 248,000 jobs were created in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent (well above estimates of 215,000 jobs and 6.1 percent unemployment). They also significantly revised upward the July and August jobs numbers. The move sent S&P 500 futures on a significant rally, and seriously punished Treasury note and gold futures.

Read More US created 248,000 jobs in Sept

But several traders' eyes were drawn to the move that S&P futures made ahead of the report. From 7:32 a.m. to 8:06 a.m.. the S&P e-mini December futures rose steadily and without much hesitation. In that time period, the S&P futures were positive in 13 minutes, and negative in only five (the rest of the minutes were unchanged).

"Looks like a blatant leak to me," said Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial.

"There are definitely people who are saying there was a leak," noted Jim Iuorio of TJM Institutional Services. "I think there's a solid chance of that."

However, Iuorio would bet against a leak, given that knowing the number wouldn't necessarily be enough to gauge where the market would go. Indeed, the futures initially fell at 8:30 a.m. before turning around, likely due to initial concerns that the number would lead the Fed to raise benchmark rates earlier than previously anticipated.

Brian Stutland would look back even further, to the market's sudden bottom late Thursday morning.

"The market bounced off 1918 and rallied all the way up to where it closed, and people were selling volatility all day like it was no problem," Stutland said. "There's always someone who has the report early, I feel."

Read MoreAs stocks slide, the big money is getting in

But Eric Hunsader of Nanex offers a somewhat more benign explanation.

"You have these third-party services that provide predictions, and more often than not they're pretty good. So people try to take advantage of that information and bet early. The problem is that as you get closer and closer, there are fewer and fewer participants, because no one wants to be in the market when the news hits. And if you're paying for this information, you want to be as close to 8:30 as possible, but you don't want to wait too long. So the first person that goes, the second piles on almost immediately, and all of a sudden you get a reaction that hits early before the news."

So while that wouldn't constitute a leak, these traders are indeed betting on quality information.

"These third-party services are more right than wrong," Hunsader said, adding: "That's why people are betting in the first place."


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