The Week Ahead – Options Pricing in Low Volatility Despite Heavy Economic Calendar

by Enis November 29, 2013 10:58 am • Commentary

Since it’s a quiet half day session today, and we don’t want to read too much into price movements on a low volume holiday week, we decided to preview the busy calendar that is on tap for next week.

First, here is the important economic data next week (both here and abroad), including the November payrolls report in the U.S. on Friday, which will be very closely watched since it’s the last jobs report before the FOMC release on December 18th:

November 30th – Dec 1st:  Chinese Manufacturing PMI and HSBC Chinese PMI, BoJ governor Kuroda speaks

December 2nd:  European Manufacturing PMI, U.S. ISM Manufacturing, RBA (Aussie Central bank) rate decision

December 4th:  European Services PMI, ADP Employment Change, ISM Non-Manufacturing

December 5th:  ECB Rate Decision

December 6th:  U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls/Unemployment Rate

The earnings calendar is relatively light, with Aeropostale on Wednesday after the close, Finisar, Kroger, and Dollar General on Thursday, and American Eagle on Friday before the open.

Of course, even with the heavy economic calendar, options traders are not expecting a big move for next week.  The weekly SPY straddle is currently priced just above $2.00, implying a break-even move of only 1.15% for next week.  Options traders are relying on recent history.  The SPX index is on track for its 8th straight weekly gain (the first time since 2004).  In the past 6 up weeks (since the political resolution), the SPX has risen more than 1% on only one occasion.