Too Many Options: Protection Buying Rampant

by Enis November 30, 2012 2:00 pm • Commentary

The VIX was up 5% on a quiet Friday, as investors started reaching for put protection for the first time in a few weeks.  The CBOE put/call ratio was also much higher, after starting the week near the lows of the year.

  1. IWM – Someone bought 30k of the Dec30th expiry 81 / 77 put spread for $1.10, paying $3.3 million in premium for yearend protection.
  2. SPX – The Jan13 1350 puts traded more than 20k, almost all in the morning, buyers initiating, with the bulk trading around 11.40
  3. AAPL – Top 4 most traded single stock options lines today were in AAPL weeklies, with traders betting on the pin of the 585 strike as the day progressed.
  4. EWJ – Trader bought 250k of the Mar13 10 strike calls for $0.11, a bullish bet on the Japanese ETF over the next 3 months.
  5. KCG – Protection buyer late in the day, protecting in case the Getco deal breaks.  The Dec 3, Jan13 2.5, and Apr13 2.5 puts traded around 30k on the day.