The U.S. stock market sell-off on Tuesday, the worst since September 2001, yielded a bonanza for several derivatives exchanges that reported record volumes in February.
The sell-off and the trading quirk that accompanied computer problems at Dow Jones and the NYSE Tuesday sent financial futures volume to record levels on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. This helped the CBOT set a new record of 86.2 million contracts handled in February, while the CME handled 115 million contracts, including a record 87 million contracts on its Globex platform.
Volume topped 6 million contracts for the first time ever on Tuesday on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, climbing to a record 6.79 million contracts. Overall, options trading is running at a record-setting pace, growing by 28.2% year over year in February.
The NYSE and Nasdaq handled a combined 5.3 billion shares on Tuesday, still a far cry from the record 7.3 billion shares the two markets traded on June 30, during the rebalancing of the Russell indexes.