Equity Trading: Time to Be Concerned?

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If you're an equity trader looking for a growth spot, this may not be the best time to think about it. Those looking for a rung up the equity trading ladder may face a misstep, at least for the short-term. Despite recent news of large scale hiring in Cantor Fitzgerald's equities department and reports of additions to come at Societe Generale, insiders suspect that the remainder of 2011 might be a bit different.

Cantor's story is probably a bit of an anomaly anyway, as their recent hiring is not so much a strong sign of market confidence as a determined move to full-service investment banking. SocGen, meanwhile, is simply charting a bigger move into the U.S. market.

The problem for equity traders now is this-the drop in volume in the first quarter. The first quarter is usually a big indicator for the year. Given the decrease, reports indicate that banks and investment firms are, not surprisingly, dropping their trading volume estimates for the remainder of 2011. There's also an expectation that hiring could slow or come to a temporary halt in equity departments, as a result, at least until volume dramatically improves.

Still, insiders say they're cautiously optimistic about the near future. Despite the rather negative news, we aren't going back to 2008. Resources aren't going to be snatched away, and people aren't going to be slashed in equity departments any time soon.

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