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Quadruple Witching


Quadruple witching refers to the simultaneous expiration of four types of financial contracts on the same day. These include stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures. This event typically occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December, leading to increased trading volume and market volatility.


The phonetics of “Quadruple Witching” are:Kwod-ruh-puhl Wi-ching

Key Takeaways

  1. Quadruple Witching is a phenomenon that occurs in financial markets when four different types of contracts (stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures) all expire simultaneously on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. This event can lead to heightened trading volume and market volatility.
  2. The simultaneous expiry of the different contracts often leads to increased trading activity, both before and during the Quadruple Witching day, as investors and traders either close out or roll over their existing positions. As a result, there could be a higher potential for price fluctuations and erratic market movements on these particular days.
  3. While Quadruple Witching days are known for their heightened trading volume and potential market volatility, it is important for investors to keep in mind that this event occurs only four times a year and shouldn’t drastically influence long-term investment strategies. Some investors may seek to benefit from specific trading strategies around these days, but for most, it is advisable to stay focused on their overall investing goals and maintain a well-diversified portfolio.


Quadruple witching is an important phenomenon in the business and finance world as it refers to the simultaneous expiration of four types of derivatives contracts: stock index options, stock index futures, stock options, and single stock futures. This event occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December, and can generate significant market volatility and trading volume due to the large number of contracts being settled. Market participants, particularly traders and investors, closely monitor quadruple witching days as they can provide unique opportunities to capitalize on price movements and arbitrage, but also pose potential risks due to the heightened uncertainty and fluctuations in asset prices.


Quadruple witching is a significant event in the financial markets, occurring once every quarter on the third Friday of the respective months – March, June, September, and December. Its primary purpose is to promote liquidity and efficiency in the markets by addressing the simultaneous expiration of four distinct types of financial contracts: stock index futures, stock index options, single stock options, and single stock futures. As these contracts reach their expiration, market participants, including institutional investors and traders, need to close, roll over, or offset their positions, which often leads to a surge in trading volume and market activity. This increased liquidity allows investors to conduct large transactions with ease and reduced price slippage, facilitating portfolio adjustments and promoting a smoother and more orderly market operation.

Although quadruple witching has its benefits, it is essential to understand that it can also lead to increased market volatility during the trading session. The simultaneous expiration of these derivatives contracts increases the potential for substantial price swings in the underlying assets, as investors may aggressively buy or sell the underlying stocks and indices to hedge or profit from their options and futures positions. As a result, market participants need to remain vigilant and adjust their trading strategies accordingly during these periods of heightened activity.

However, it’s important to note that the impact of quadruple witching on the long-term performance of stocks and markets is relatively minimal, primarily serving as a means for market participants to manage and adjust their investment positions effectively. Overall, the occurrence of quadruple witching contributes to the proper functioning of financial markets by providing a systematic approach to handling the expiration of multiple derivatives contracts while promoting liquidity and efficiency in the process.


Quadruple witching refers to the simultaneous expiration of stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures, occurring on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. Here are three real-world examples of events that can transpire as a result of quadruple witching:

1. Increased trading volume and volatility: On quadruple witching days, trading volumes and market volatility often spike as traders and investors close, roll-over, or adjust their derivative contracts. For example, on September 18, 2020, the S&P 500 saw a surge in volatility and trading volume due to Quadruple Witching, with more than 14.3 billion shares changing hands, well above the average trading volume.

2. Impact on market indexes: The expiration of various derivatives simultaneously can lead to temporary distortions in the pricing of underlying assets, affecting market indexes. On June 18, 2021, quadruple witching played a role in large intraday swings in major U.S. stock indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite, causing them to close the day lower than their previous sessions.

3. Strategic trades by professional traders and individual investors: Many professional traders and individual investors adjust their trading strategies around quadruple witching events to take advantage of the increased market activity. For instance, during the quadruple witching in March 2019, professional traders closely monitored the markets and executed strategic trades aimed at taking advantage of the increased liquidity and potential price inefficiencies. Some traders used strategies like arbitrage that aimed at profiting from temporary price discrepancies in the underlying stocks and their related derivatives.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Quadruple Witching?

Quadruple Witching refers to the simultaneous expiration of four types of financial contracts – stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures – on the third Friday of every March, June, September, and December.

Why is Quadruple Witching significant for the financial markets?

Quadruple Witching days often experience higher-than-normal trading volume and increased market volatility, as traders and investors close, roll over, or offset their expiring contracts.

How does Quadruple Witching impact stock prices and liquidity?

The high trading volume associated with Quadruple Witching often leads to temporary liquidity in the markets. While Quadruple Witching may cause some short-term price fluctuations, its impact on stock prices is often overstated, as the market generally smooths out after the expiration event.

How can investors and traders prepare for Quadruple Witching?

To prepare for Quadruple Witching, investors and traders should remain informed about their positions in any financial contracts that are expiring and make necessary adjustments ahead of time. They should also be aware of the increased volatility and trading volume, which may impact their trading strategies.

What are some trading strategies for Quadruple Witching?

Some experienced traders may attempt to capitalize on Quadruple Witching by employing various strategies, such as buying options with the expectation of unusual price movements, or entering into arbitrage trades between the various futures and options instruments as they converge at expiration. However, these strategies carry an increased risk due to the unpredictable nature of Quadruple Witching.

Is Quadruple Witching unique to the United States markets?

While the term “Quadruple Witching” is specific to the U.S. markets, the phenomenon of multiple financial contracts expiring simultaneously occurs in other countries as well. However, the specific instruments and expiration dates may differ from those in the U.S.

Related Finance Terms

  • Options Expiration
  • Stock Index Futures
  • Stock Index Options
  • Stock Options
  • Market Volatility

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