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Coronavirus anxiety and a potential oil price war have contributed to increased volatility in the markets.
Investors should be mindful of trading best practices, particularly during times of heightened volatility.
Given significant pre-market volatility driven by coronavirus anxiety and the beginnings of a potential oil price war, there was considerable uncertainty as stock markets were set to open on Monday, March 9. Shortly after market open, we saw the triggering of Level 1 Market Wide Circuit Breakers (MWCB) for the first time since they took effect in 2013, resulting in a 15-minute trading halt across all National Market System (NMS) securities.
As a reminder, there are three MWCB levels that trigger trading halts at various thresholds and time durations:
As we experienced on March 9, there is typically heightened volume, as well as increased probability of volatility, at the open and close of each trading session as markets work to absorb new information at the open and settle trading imbalances at the close. For this reason, we recommend not trading market-on-open (MOO) or market-on-close (MOC).
It’s worth reviewing some additional thoughts on the best trading practices to guide investors in today’s market, as current volatility may persist. Our first strategy is simple. If you do not have to trade in volatile times, we recommend that you do not. If you choose to buy or sell ETFs, or any other securities, during periods of heightened volatility, we recommend that you place your trades using limit orders.
A limit order identifies the maximum and minimum prices at which you want to buy or sell a security. Unlike market orders that execute immediately at the next price, limit orders do not guarantee execution. They do, however, provide control over price level and allow investors to manage execution risk, which is particularly useful when volatility spikes.
Limit orders generally aren’t necessary, although are still encouraged, for very liquid ETFs—like the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF (SPY)—where there are millions of shares offered at each price point with very narrow bid/ask spreads.1 However, limit orders can be a useful execution tool in less actively traded securities and, again, can help to reduce adverse price impact in times of market stress.
Exchange traded funds are known for their tradability, yet 88% of all US-listed ETFs trade less than $25M per day, on average.2 It’s therefore critically important to evaluate an ETFs liquidity profile—in addition to the market environment in which you trade—prior to making execution decisions. Additionally, the way in which you trade may depend on the ETF’s liquidity profile and/or current market conditions. Here are some insights on how to optimize trade execution for ETFs of all levels of liquidity.
SSGA has a long-standing commitment to market quality in our ETFs and deep relationships within the trading community. As one of the industry’s largest ETF providers, we are committed to collaborating with the industry, including exchanges, issuers and other market participants to deliver a high level of service to ETF investors in all market environments. Our SPDR Capital Markets Group is in regular communication with market makers, exchanges and liquidity providers in an effort to monitor the liquidity of our products for the benefit of our clients and investors. Should you have any questions on ETF trading in general or during bouts of volatility, please contact us.
1Bloomberg Finance, L.P., as of March 11, 2020. 2Bloomberg Finance, L.P., as of January 31, 2020.
Circuit Breakers Measures approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to curb panic-selling on US stock exchanges. They can be applied to broad market indices as well as to individual securities. Circuit breakers function by temporarily halting trading when prices hit predefined levels.
The views expressed in this material are the views of SPDR Americas Research through the period ended March 9th, 2020 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. All material has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. There is no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information and State Street shall have no liability for decisions based on such information.
ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, fluctuate in market value and may trade at prices above or below the ETFs net asset value. Brokerage commissions and ETF expenses will reduce returns.
SSGA SPDR ETFS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE OR SUITABLE FOR YOU. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED/INFORMATION IN THIS SITE DO NOT CONSTITUTE INVESTMENT ADVICE, FINANCIAL, LEGAL, REGULATORY, ACCOUNTING OR TAX ADVICE. INDEPENDENT ADVICE SHOULD BE SOUGHT IN CASES OF DOUBT. NEITHER THE INFORMATION NOR ANY OPINION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE CONSTITUTES A SOLICITATION OR OFFER TO BUY OR SELL SHARES OF THE FUNDS OR ANY OTHER FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT.
Standard & Poor's®, S&P® and SPDR® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P); Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (Dow Jones); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (SPDJI) and sublicensed for certain purposes by State Street Corporation. State Street Corporation's financial products are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, their respective affiliates and third party licensors and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability in relation thereto, including for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index.
SPDR ETFs may be offered and sold only in those jurisdictions where authorised, in compliance with applicable regulations.
Information related to Mexico
This information does not constitute and is not intended to constitute marketing or an offer of securities and accordingly should not be construed as such. The Funds referenced herein have not been, and will not be, registered under the Mexican Securities Market Law (Ley del Mercado de Valores) and may not be publicly offered or sold in the United Mexican States. Disclosure documentation related to any of the aforementioned Funds may not be distributed publicly in Mexico and shares of the Funds may not be traded in Mexico.
UCITS SPDR ETFs
SPDR ETFs Europe I Plc and SSGA SPDR ETFs Europe II Plc issue SPDR ETFs, and are an open-ended investment company with variable capital having segregated liability between its sub-funds. The Company is organised as an Undertaking for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) under the laws of Ireland and authorised as a UCITS by the Central Bank of Ireland.
This website is directed at Qualified Investors only, as defined by Article 10(3) lit. a and b. of the Swiss Act on Collective Investment Schemes (CISA). Certain funds may not be registered for public distribution with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which acts as supervisory authority in investment fund matters, and such funds might not qualify as foreign Collective Investment Schemes under Article 120 of the Collective Investment Schemes Act. Accordingly, the shares of those funds may only be offered to Qualified Investors and not be offered or solicited to any other investor in or from Switzerland, unless they are placed without public solicitation as such term is defined by the Swiss regulations and/or FINMA from time to time The prospectus, the articles of incorporation, the Key Investor Information Document (KIID) as well as the latest annual and semi-annual reports may be obtained free of charge from the Swiss Representative and Paying Agent, State Street Bank International GmbH, Munich, Zurich Branch, Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich, or at www.spdrs.com, as well as from the main distributor in Switzerland, State Street Global Advisors AG (“SSGA AG”), Beethovenstrasse 19, 8027 Zurich. For additional documentation regarding those funds not registered for public sale, please contact SSGA AG.
You should obtain and read the SPDR prospectus and relevant Key Investor Information Document (KIID) prior to investing, which may be obtained by clicking here. These include further details relating to the SPDR funds, including information relating to costs, risks and where the funds are authorised for sale.
US SPDR ETFs
The distribution of interests of U.S. SPDR ETFs in Switzerland will be exclusively made to, and directed at, qualified investors (the "Qualified Investors"), as defined in the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act of 23 June 2006, as amended ("CISA") and its implementing ordinance. Accordingly, U.S. SPDR ETFs are not registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority ("FINMA"). The legal documents of the U.S. SPDR ETFs can be obtained free of charge from Swiss Representative & Swiss Paying Agent State Street Bank International GmbH Beethovenstrasse 19 8027 Zurich, Switzerland Tel: +41 44 560 5000.
Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. To obtain a prospectus which contains this and other information, download a prospectus here, or talk to your financial advisor. Read it carefully before investing.