Don't be scared. The triple-witching hour is nothing most of us need to worry about, especially if we're investing for the decades ahead.

Triple witching occurs on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December. On that day, stock options, stock-index options, and stock-index futures all simultaneously expire. The witching "hour" is the one before the market closes on that day (currently from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., EST), when traders often rock the boat, trading for profits before the final bell.

Consider not paying much attention to the hubbub, though, since options and futures represent contracts generally based on short-term pricing rather than long-term business growth. You'll find the Fool's favorite triple witches gathered around a boiling cauldron -- in Macbeth.

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