ESSAYS ON SINGLE-STOCK FUTURES TRADING: THE EFFECTS ON STOCK AND OPTIONS MARKETS DURING THE 2008 SHORT SELLING BAN
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This dissertation consists of two essays that study the effects of single-stock futures (SSFs) trading on financial markets during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In September 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an emergency order to temporarily ban short selling of nearly 1,000 financial stocks. The literature found that the ban deteriorated valuations and market quality for banned stocks in stock and options markets. My first essay uses this short selling ban as an empirical setting to test the effects of SSFs trading on price discovery and market quality of banned stocks. I find that the short selling ban revived the trading activities of the SSFs market: SSFs trading volume increased significantly for banned stocks during the ban period. This result suggests that bearish investors and those with hedging demand migrated to the SSFs market to take short positions in banned stocks. Moreover, I show that SSFs trading contributed to price discovery of underlying banned stocks significantly more during the ban period. Finally, I show that SSFs trading helps improve market quality of banned stocks. While the strand of literature documents the negative effects of the ban on both price discovery and market quality, I find that SSFs trading helps mitigate those negative effects of the ban. In the second essay, I examine the effects of SSFs trading on options market quality during the short selling ban period. I analyze banned stocks with options and/or SSFs listings, and examine how SSFs trading affects options market quality during the ban period. I measure options market quality as the bid-ask spread relative to optionality variable and the likelihood of put-call parity violations. While the literature documents a significant deterioration in these measures during the ban period, I show that SSFs trading helps improve the options spreads and reduce the likelihood of the violations. These findings contribute to the literature by establishing the link between options and SSFs markets and also by documenting that the SSFs market plays an important role in today’s financial markets.