We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Triple Witching Day?

By Brooke Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Though the phrase is thought to have originated with the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth, a triple witching day has nothing to do with spells or cauldrons and everything to do with stocks and closing bells. It is a financial term, referring to the last day of the quarter when contracts for stock options, index options, and future options all expire at the same time. Triple witching days take place on the third Friday of every third month, in March, June, September, and December.

During a triple witching day, investors and traders have to decide whether to sell their options or roll them over to the next quarter. If they haven't taken action before the end of "expiration Friday," the stock will typically become worthless. As a result, the volume of stocks traded on these days increases dramatically.

With so many options being bought and sold and rolled over so quickly, the value of these options often fluctuates. In fact the value of stock options may rise or fall for days before expiration Friday, as traders prepare for what's to come. As with all market changes, these price fluctuations can means good news or bad news for investors.

The trading volume and volatility, or how quickly a security changes in value, is particularly high during the final hour of trading on the triple witching day. This time, currently 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, is known as the triple witching hour. It is when the Hollywood scene of shouting and signaling on Wall Street floors is at its best, as traders scramble to settle before the closing bell.

Though intense for day traders, triple witching day generally has little impact on long-term investors. In fact, experts advise buy-and-hold investors to ignore this day. They argue that most fluctuations will rebalance after a week or so, and that getting caught up in the excitement of that day's trading could lead to unwise decisions.

Many experts also argue that this day is becoming less dramatic than its name implies for several reasons. The first is that the industry has been taking steps to minimize the ensuing chaos, including spreading out the expiration dates of contracts to have some fall at the beginning of the month. Experienced traders are also settling before a contract ends, minimizing the volume shuffled on triple witching day.

Another reason that triple witching day, also called "Freaky Friday," is becoming less meaningful is that the end of the quarter has actually now become a quadruple witching day. This is because single stock futures — bundles of one type of stock, with traders gambling on their future value — also expire on the third Friday of the third month. This fourth option was introduced to the American trading market in 2002.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.