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There’s a new volatility ‘witching hour’ puzzling stock traders

February 26, 2018

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It’s no secret that U.S. stock benchmarks have grown more volatile over a few short weeks, prone to mind-bending swings in price within moments.

In fact, a knockoff of a familiar weather joke is making the rounds on Wall Street: “If you don’t like the markets now, just wait a minute.”

However, those gyrations happen more frequently starting between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Eastern daily, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.84% the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.65% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.56% moving sharply only to rescind much, if not all, of that move within the final two hours to 90 minutes of regular trading.

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