Too Many Options

by Kristen January 17, 2013 4:55 pm • Commentary

I was primarily impressed today with the number of stocks hitting their 52-week lows in implied vol.

1. HAIN – one of the few stocks hitting 52-week IV30 highs on my Livevol scroll that’s not Japanese or a biotech. They presented today at the Annual ICR Xchange in Miami. Stock was up 5% today. There were put buyers on the Feb 50 line today and yesterday. Volatility has been going up since mid-November. During that time they announced and acquired BluePrint. I didn’t see much other news that would be effecting such a rise.

2. DELL – Heavy volume again. The Feb 13/ May 14 call spread looks like it went up at least 10Kx20K selling May. Total trading on the May 14 call line was 47K, previous open interest on the line was 13K. May is the first listed month after February and this may be long stock owners thinking that the deal will be done, if it happens, well before May and for a price less than 14. Over 22K Jan’14 15 calls traded. It looks like a buy. There was sufficient open interest on the line that could be closing.

3. INTC – option volume was almost 575K today preceding earnings after the close today. The busiest line was the Jan19 23.5 calls where almost 105K options have traded, primarily buyers. There was also heavy trading in the Jan19 22.5 and 24 calls and the Feb16 23 and 24 calls.

4. WMB – 80K Jan ’14 40/45 calls spreads traded. Seems to be opening as the open interest on both lines is significantly smaller. There were some large bullish seeming trades in the name earlier this month.

5. CMCSA – the Jan ’14 35/45 strangle was sold 10K times. The 45 calls, at least, are opening. The Apr 36 puts look like they were sold 2000 times opening.

6. NOK – a buyer of 22K Feb 4 puts.  30K traded on the day.  Earnings are January 24th before the open.

7. CBS – announced today that they are are turning their outdoor entertainment ad unit into a REIT and that they will be selling some international units.  Stock was up $3 and 17 times the average number of options traded.  The most active were buyers of the Jan 42 calls.  48K traded.

8. NE – the Feb 40/42 calls spread went up 18K times.  Earnings are January 23rd after the close.  Noble Corp is an offshore contractor in oil and gas.

9. AMAT – much trading on the Apr 12 call line with over 25K trading, 3 times normal all around call volume.  Looks like mostly buying.  Implied vol on the line is up 4 points from yesterday.  Open interest on the line was over 80K.  There was a big seller of this line on January 10th.

10. AAPL – Call to put ratio was up to 1.5 today event though stock ended the day lower.  Weekly 510 calls and weekly 500 puts were the most active.