Too Many Options – Protection Buying, $VIX, $XRT

by Enis January 24, 2013 6:50 pm • Commentary

Some trades focused on protecting recent gains were seen today.

  1. VIX – iv30 up 10 points today, primarily on buyers of the Feb13 16 calls. There was one buyer of 36,438 for $.55 after 1pm, but over 120K have traded on the day. Implied vol on the line has gone from 79.5 to 87.
  2. XRT – SPDR S&P Retail, the Mar 60/64 put spread was bought 110K times for $.50. Seems to be opening.
  3. AAPL – A bit surprising that call to put ratio was above 1.5 today.  Most volume was in the weekly 470 calls, weekly 450 puts, and weekly 460 calls.
  4. MSFT – Feb 27 puts and Feb 28 calls both traded more than 30k ahead of the number.  Stock trading 27.25 after the close.
  5. QCOM – Over 17K Feb16 67.5 calls were bought. The open interest on the line was sufficient. Earnings are January 30th after the close.
  6. EWZ – iShares MSCI Brazil, 40K Mar 53/55 call spreads were sold. Open interest on the line was sufficient.
  7. CIE – Cobalt International Energy, the Apr 25/ Oct 27.5 call spread traded 13,607 times, looks like it was opening.
  8. HUN – a spread of the Feb 13 calls, the May 17 calls and the May 13 puts went up 5750 times. The Mays at least were opening.
  9. NWSA – the Jul 28/30 call 1×2 went up 6250 times. Bullish trade in a stock trading at 2 year highs.
  10. IACI – yesterday the Mar 35/45 risk reversal traded 1250/1000 times. Today again looks like it could be a seller of the puts with 3K trading on the Feb 35 line. The skew looks a bit unusual with the 35 line depressed in Feb, Mar, and Apr reflecting that the market may think a recent sell-off is overdone. The underlying is at a 52-week low, iv 30 is close to a 52 week high. Earnings are February 6th.

iaci skew Chart courtesy of LiveVol