Too Many Options: Protection Buying Dominates

by Enis January 8, 2013 8:19 pm • Commentary

A couple large trades in financials dominated volume on a quiet day.

  1. XLF – Someone bought the Apr 16 / 14 put spread for 0.275, 95k times, spending close to 3 million dollars in premium for that 3 month protection.
  2. BAC – Customer sold the BAC Feb 10 / 12 call spread at 1.53, 32,600 times to close.  Likely someone with a nice winner on their hands taking profits.
  3. VIX – Relatively active on an otherwise quiet day.  The Feb 17 / 20 call spread was the most active, trading nearly 40k times this morning, around 0.60.
  4. MT – The Jan14 20 calls traded 25k at 1.48, could have been a seller based on existing open interest.
  5. FB – The stock pulled back from 6 month highs, and the Mar 24 puts were the most active line, trading over 13k on the day.
  6. QCOM – The Jan / Apr 65 call calendar traded 7500 times, which could be someone rolling out their long premium.  Earnings report on Jan 30th.
  7. TIF – Early in the morning, someone sold 7300 of the May 65 calls, likely paired with a long stock position.
  8. HPQ – Also early in the morning, someone sold more than 10k of the May 14 puts, unclear if it was to open or close.
  9. EEM – Someone paid 0.80 for the June 42 / 38 put spread, 18,851 times.  Likely again protection buying to lock in gains.
  10. AAPL – Call to put ratio around 1.4, though on very light volume for AAPL options.  The weekly 530 and 525 calls were the most active lines.