Remember, it's a quadruple witching expiration (expiration of stock and stock index options, and stock and stock index futures).
The S&P 500 options stopped trading at the CLOSE last night, however the settle price is at the OPEN this morning.
And there is going to be a big gap open.
The effect: traders who are LONG CALLS are ecstatic; market makers and others who sold them the calls are getting run over.
1) Important: SEC suspends buyback restrictions!
A little-notice provision in the short-sale announcement by the SEC is a clause that is suspending restrictions that prevent companies from buying back their stock around the open and close, and removing volume restrictions.
This allows companies much more flexibility in buying back their stock. This is significant: there will be additional buyers at the open and close.
This was done before, after the 1987 crash.
2) Financials pre-open: Morgan Stanleyup 50 percent, Wachovia up 44 percent, Goldman Sachsup 30 percent, Merrillup 27 percent, Citigroup up 24 percent.
Regional banks: Sovereign up 23 percent, KeyCorpup 21 percent, Wells Fargoup 18 percent.
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