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Clustering in the futures market: Evidence from S&P 500 futures contracts


  • Adam L. Schwartz
  • Bonnie F. Van Ness
  • Robert A. Van Ness


We document trade price clustering in the futures markets. We find clustering at prices of x.00 and x.50 for S&P 500 futures contracts. While trade price clustering is evident throughout time to maturity of these contracts, there is a dramatic change when the S&P 500 futures contract is designated a front‐month contract (decrease in clustering) and a back‐month contract (increase in clustering). We find that trade price clustering is a positive function of volatility and a negative function of volume or open interest. In addition, we find a high degree of clustering in the daily opening and closing prices, but a lower degree of clustering in the settlement prices. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 24:413–428, 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Adam L. Schwartz & Bonnie F. Van Ness & Robert A. Van Ness, 2004. "Clustering in the futures market: Evidence from S&P 500 futures contracts," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 413-428, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jfutmk:v:24:y:2004:i:5:p:413-428

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    Cited by:

    1. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Mo Chaudhury, 2007. "Price clustering in the CAC 40 index options market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(15), pages 1201-1210.
    2. Robert Brooks & Edwyna Harris & Yovina Joymungul, 2013. "Price clustering in Australian water markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(6), pages 677-685, February.
    3. Hu, Bill & McInish, Thomas & Miller, Jonathan & Zeng, Li, 2019. "Intraday price behavior of cryptocurrencies," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 337-342.
    4. Qin Wang & Jun Zhang, 2016. "Trade Size Clustering In The E-Mini Index Futures Markets," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 247-262, September.
    5. Blau, Benjamin M. & Griffith, Todd G., 2016. "Price clustering and the stability of stock prices," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 3933-3942.
    6. Palao, Fernando & Pardo, Angel, 2012. "Assessing price clustering in European Carbon Markets," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 51-56.
    7. Das, Sougata & Kadapakkam, Palani-Rajan, 2020. "Machine over Mind? Stock price clustering in the era of algorithmic trading," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    8. Jeon, Jin Q. & Lee, Cheolwoo, 2015. "A new measure for heated negotiation in the IPO syndicate," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 278-304.
    9. Júlio Lobão & Natércia Fortuna & Franklin Silva, 2020. "Do psychological barriers exist in Latin American stock markets?," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business, vol. 35(2), pages 29-56, October.

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