triple witching hour

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Triple witching hour

The four times a year that the S&P futures contract expires at the same time as the S&P 100 index option contract and option contracts on individual stocks. It is the last trading hour on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December, when stock options, futures on stock indexes, and options on these futures expire concurrently. Massive trades in index futures, options, and underlying stock by hedge strategists and arbitrageurs cause abnormal activity (noise) and volatility.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.

Triple Witching

The last hour of trade on an exchange on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. It is the time of expiration for three types of standardized contracts: stock options, stock index options, and stock index futures. Investors often unwind their positions on these contracts during or immediately before triple witching hour, which leads to increased trading volume on those hours. See also: Quadruple witching day.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

triple witching hour

The hour before the market closing when options and futures on stock indexes expire on the same day, thereby setting off frenzied trading in futures, options, and underlying securities. Traders and arbitrageurs unwind investment positions and produce large price movements in securities. The triple witching hour occurs on the third Fridays of March, June, September, and December. See also expiration effect.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.