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Options and the Future: What Do Markets Think?

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We’re used to hearing analysts make predictions about where the economy is headed based on changes in the prices people are paying for stocks, futures, or other assets. Now, recent research is showing how we can analyze the prices of sophisticated new investment products, like options, to also gauge the probability assigned by the markets to possible future events. In short, we can calculate how likely market participants feel it is that an event will take place in the future.

We’re used to hearing analysts make predictions about where the economy is headed based on changes in the prices people are paying for stocks, futures, or other assets. Now, recent research is showing how we can analyze the prices of sophisticated new investment products, like options, to also gauge the probability assigned by the markets to possible future events. In short, we can calculate how likely market participants feel it is that an event will take place in the future.


Suggested citation: Craig, Ben R., 2002. "Options and the Future: What Do Markets Think?" Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 10.01.2002.

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