Too Many Options – Large $VIX and $XOM trades

by Kristen January 31, 2013 4:21 pm • Commentary

Two big prints that were both protective in nature.

  1. VIX – buyer of the Apr 20/25 call spread 150,000 times paying 0.70 to open.  Quite a big bet, as that involved paying out $10.5 million upfront in premium today.
  2. XOM – with earnings tomorrow before the bell, someone bought the Jul 87.5/77.5 put spread 30,000 times, paying $1.89.
  3. FB – wild and crazy day after earnings yesterday.  994K options traded.  The biggest trade was a 33,000 lot of the Feb08 weekly 34 calls for $.03.  IV30 was in 24 points.
  4. FXI – the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index – someone bought 28,500 Feb16 42 calls, probably opening.
  5. STZ – over 240,000 options traded amongst numerous trade halts after the announcement that the DOJ will block Anheuser-Busch InBev purchase of Modelo. Stock was down almost 18% and vol came in over 15 points. The busiest line was the Apr 27.5 puts where over 43k traded, mostly sales.
  6. IWM – the Mar28 weekly 80/86 puts and 94 calls traded 17500 times. Only the 80’s have open interest greater than that. Mar16 77/82 put spread was sold 22K times. Plenty of open interest on those lines.
  7. EEM – someone bought 22,000 Apr 43 puts. There is sufficient open interest on the line.
  8. CIEN – saw a lot of trading in the options today, probably as a result of positive earnings results in JDSU. CIEN stock was up 7% and IV30 up 6%. Earnings are expected in early March. Most of the trading was on the Apr 16 call line, with over 10K options trading. Looks like mostly buyers and soon after the open
  9. TLT – iShares Lehman 20+ Year Treasury Bond – someone bought over 36K Apr 121 calls for 1.21.
  10. CIM – Chimera Corp – Over 20,600 Jan ’14 3 puts traded. Looks like a sale as implied vol came well in and appears to be opening. No other line has 20K open interest except the Mar 2.5 puts. Also today 7500 Mar 3 puts were bought as a buy-write.