The Adrenaline-Fueled Trades Sweeping the Market

Oodles of risk. Bold bets on artificial intelligence. Round-the-clock activity. The options market is booming like never before.

  • About 44 million options contracts have changed hands on an average day in 2023, on track for an annual record.
  • Activity in contracts expiring the same day—among the market’s riskiest—has helped turbocharge a mania that began in 2020 during the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The explosion in activity suggests many traders are hungry to take big risks in markets, eager for fatter payouts than they think traditional buy-and-hold investments will offer.

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