IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Spider in the Hedge


  • Carol Alexander

    () (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)

  • Andreza Barbosa

    () (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)


This paper provides an empirical study of the effectiveness of hedging the spider, a passive exchange traded fund (ETF) that replicates the S&P500 index. The spider is by far the largest ETF in the world: trading on the spider has grown so much during the past few years that it is now amongst the few most traded securities in the AMEX. The large net daily creation and redemption orders of recent years pose a problem to the market makers in the spider, as the orders may be too large to execute in the cash market. They face a decision about whether to hedge spider positions on their own book; and if so, how should they hedge? We have employed several sophisticated minimum variance estimates for the future hedge ratio, including OLS regression, an ECM to account for maturity effects and the cointegration of the spot and the future prices and, to the ECM residuals we apply EWMA and number of bivariate GARCH models to account for time-variation in the hedge ratio. We have applied these models to daily data for a 1-day rebalancing frequency and to weekly data for a 5-day re-balancing frequency, using data since the spider’s inception until the end of 2004. Marginal differences in the ‘optimal’ hedge ratios are apparent, but they are simply too small to have any significant effect on the hedged portfolio volatility. In out-of-sample testing we find that the naïve hedge where an equal and opposite position is taken in the future performs as well as the more technically sophisticated models, at both the daily and the weekly re-balancing frequency. Finally, we have considered the differences between hedging the spot index and hedging the spider. The efficiency of hedging the spider is superior to that of the index and the spider hedged portfolios have significantly lower volatility than the spot index hedged portfolios.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Alexander & Andreza Barbosa, 2005. "The Spider in the Hedge," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2005-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2005-05

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ackert, Lucy F. & Tian, Yisong S., 2001. "Efficiency in index options markets and trading in stock baskets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1607-1634, September.
    2. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Cumby, Robert E & Figlewski, Stephen, 1988. "Estimation of the Optimal Futures Hedge," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 623-630, November.
    3. Chris Brooks & Olan T. Henry & Gita Persand, 2002. "The Effect of Asymmetries on Optimal Hedge Ratios," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(2), pages 333-352, April.
    4. Baillie, Richard T & Myers, Robert J, 1991. "Bivariate GARCH Estimation of the Optimal Commodity Futures Hedge," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 109-124, April-Jun.
    5. Ederington, Louis H, 1979. "The Hedging Performance of the New Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(1), pages 157-170, March.
    6. Lucy F. Ackert & Yisong S. Tian, 2000. "Arbitrage and Valuation in the Market forStandard and Poor's Depository Receipts," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 29(3), Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. John Cotter & Jim Hanly, 2012. "Hedging effectiveness under conditions of asymmetry," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 135-147, February.
    2. Carol Alexander & Andreza Barbosa, 2005. "Is Minimum Variance Hedging Necessary for Equity Indices? A study of Hedging and Cross-Hedging Exchange Traded Funds," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2005-16, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    3. Alexander, C. & Barbosa, A., 2008. "Hedging index exchange traded funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 326-337, February.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2005-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie Pearson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.