Too Many Options – Traders Giddy Over Bank Stress Tests – $XLF, $BAC

by Kristen March 7, 2013 5:45 pm • Commentary
  1. XLF – as Dan mentioned yesterday in “Quick Hits”, there were large buyers of the March 18.50 and 19 calls.  Today a block of 40K Apr 18 calls traded.  Over 98K have traded on the day.  Previous open interest was under 22K.  40,400 Mar16 18 calls were rolled out to May 19 calls.  The Mar16 18.5 calls were busy with over 46K trading.   A block of 40K Mar28 weekly 18.5’s traded and over 100K have traded on the day. A block of 25K Mar28 weekly 18 puts traded as well.  Both of these had small open interest previously.    Overall over 490K options traded with the call to put ratio 5.5:1.  Traders were obviously expecting decent initial news from the Fed regarding the bank stress tests.
  2. BAC – traded 2x average daily volume, which says a lot for a stock that routinely tops the options most actives list. A block of 60K Apr 13 calls were bought late in the afternoon for .22.  Also a block of 25K Mar28 weekly 12.5 calls traded were bought for .23.  There seemed to be quite a bit of trading in deep-in-the-money puts across a number of months.  Perhaps this has to do with dividend speculation.
  3. VXX – the Apr 17/19/21 put butterfly traded 4200x (4200 x 8400 x 4200).  It also looks like the Apr 19 and 21 puts may have traded in a spread shortly after the open. The index was down .42 and IV30 came in a little over 1 point.
  4. XLU – the Jan’15 38/42 call spread was sold at 1.24, 25K times.  Very likely a roll as the 38 calls were market closing and looked sold, and the 42’s were marked opening and look like they were bought.
  5. TLM – Looks like the July 11/14 risk reversal traded 10,000x (sold Put, bought call) for even money, this appears to be a very bullish trade.
  6. YELP – had some excitement at the end of the day with a buyer of around 1400 Mar 24 puts into the close.  IV30 is up 10%.
  7. SPY – the biggest block trade seems to be the Apr 160/161 call spread which traded 50,000 times.  It looks like it was bought for $.13.
  8. IWM – Lots of trading in April puts at the end of the day with the Apr 85/90 put spread trading 15,000x and the Apr 82/89 put spread trading 10,000 times.
  9. P – over 76K options traded going into earnings after the close.  Stock closed almost unch’ed after the New York Times reported that AAPL’s rumored streaming radio service would be delayed.  The stock is up nearly 20% in the after hours, on a strong earnings beat, trading at $14, up from an $11.73 close. For the second time this week, there was a buyer today of 5k of the March 15 calls paying .30
  10. MTG – After the stock nearly doubling this week, the company priced an 135 million share secondary at $5.15 this morning, and a $350 million convert.  Over 86K options traded today, with most of the trading in March and April.  The most active lines were Mar16 5.5 calls with 9700 trading and a little over 10,000 of the Jan14 5.5 calls trading. IV30 came in 28 points and stock was down 12%.