Social media madness: March at TradeStation


If February was all about volatility, the big story in March was Facebook (FB).

The social media giant flew to the top of TradeStation’s most active symbols last month, leaving other active names in the dust. For stock trades, it even outstripped the ubiquitous S&P 500 ETF (SPY). It was also the also the busiest equity underlier for options transactions, leaping past Apple (AAPL), Nvidia (NVDA), and (AMZN) compared with February.

Most people know the blizzard of negative headlines that set off the firestorm: Revelations that an outside firm accessed customer data. Then regulators, analysts, journalists and other tech executives piled on the company.

The other standout in terms of activity last month was Micron Technology (MU), which jumped from being the 15th busiest symbol to the No. 3 spot. That came as the memory-chip maker soared to its highest levels since late 2000.

Here’s breakdown of the top 10:

  1. Facebook (FB): Rose from the 8th spot to No. 1.
  2. SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): Usually the busiest symbol, it slipped from the top spot.
  3. Micron (MU): Rose from the 15th spot in February.
  4. iPath S&P 500 VIX (VXX): The market-inverse instrument inched up from the 5th spot in February.
  5. Nvidia (NVDA): The chip maker slipped from No. 4.
  6. PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ): The Nasdaq-100 tracking fund held its position on the list.
  7. Apple (AAPL): The smart-phone maker dropped from the No. 2 spot the previous month.
  8. Netflix (NFLX): The video-streaming company returned to the list after dropping to 12th place in February.
  9. ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term (UVXY): The market-inverse instrument slid from No. 3.
  10. ProShares UltraPro QQQ (TQQQ): The leveraged instrument ticked down from the ninth spot.
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David Russell is VP of Market Intelligence at TradeStation Group. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.