Futures traders have record sums riding on the outcome of the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting. Open interest in the November contract in CME's federal funds futures market has soared to the most in the market's three-decade history. The contract is used to wager on the central bank's interest rate target range. The record number represented $25 million at risk per basis-point change in the rate. Much of that was betting on a hike.
Traders are on edge ahead of key US payrolls data due Friday. US equity benchmarks pared early losses, with the S&P 500 hovering above a level that technical analysts warn could drive a steeper drop. The gauge is already down roughly 8% from July highs. A too-hot jobs report — which could keep the Federal Reserve on a hawkish path — could push yields up and stocks down.