Courtesy of the ETF Professor at Benzinga.com
U.S. equities and other riskier assets are in rally mode in the first trading session of 2013 after lawmakers finally got around to agreeing on legislation that steered the U.S. away from the dreaded fiscal cliff. News that a deal was in the works ignited a rally on Monday while news that the cliff will be dodged has done the same today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 230 points at this writing while the Nasdaq Composite is sitting on a gain of 2.3 percent.
The tenor of Wednesday’s U.S. trading session is clearly risk on, so much so that before 10:30 AM Eastern time, the overall value of equities and ETFs traded was $73 billion, according to data provided by ETF execution firm WallachBeth. New York-based WallachBeth noted that only trading day in all of 2012 – December options expiration – saw equity value traded exceed $70 billion in the first hour of trading.
In a note to clients, WallachBeth Director of ETF Execution Services Chris Hempstead highlighted intense buying activity “on the ask” in several marquee broad market ETFs. Buying on the ask could be described as “panic buying” to some extent as traders that are willing to buy on the ask price being shown are indicating they are willing to pay up to acquire shares of a particular stock or ETF. The more times the ask price is hit, the more intense a rally becomes.