Too Many Options – Index ETFs Active Coupled w/ A Few Single Names – $EEM, $TJX, $FCX

by Dan March 11, 2013 4:38 pm • Commentary
  1.  EEM – options were extremely active today topping the most actives list with the largest trade being the sale of 111k of the March 43 Puts at .06 to close, vs buying 215k of the Apr 43.5 Puts for .61, to open, while a block of 74k of the March 44 puts were sold at .32 to close.
  2. VIX  –  closing below 12 and at 6 year lows, traders couldn’t sell short dated premium fast enough, a block of 30k of the Apr 18 calls were sold at .70, while there was a seller of the March 15/21 1×2 call spread at .225.
  3. XLF – one trader rolled up their bullish bet, by selling the May 19 calls 30,000x at .17 and buying 60,000 of the May 20 calls for .03
  4. TLT- saw a big roll in 2 separate trades, the trader sold 28,000 of the March 116 Puts to buy 28,000 of the April 112 Puts, the spread costing .40, and then a second lot traded 20 minutes late, same quantity, strikes and prices.
  5. SPY-  Large ratio Put Spread traded in March, a trader bought the March 152.50/154.50 1×2 Put Spread 10,000 by 20,000 for .28.  Also there was a buyer of the Jun quarterly 154/150 Put Spread for 8,000x for 1.36
  6. F – Shortly before 11am a trader bought 25k of the March 13.50 calls for .02 when the stock was below $13.  The stock rallied more than 3% and the calls went out .06 bid, and over 47k ended up trading on the day, most looking like they were bought.
  7. FCX –  two large trades in the mining stock, shortly after the opening, a trader bought the Aug 41/45 call spread, 17,000x, paying .27, and then later in the afternoon, the same spread traded 15,000x for .31
  8. TJX – there appears to be a large shareholder in the discount retailer who feels that the stock could be range bound for the near future as it looks like they closed a March overwrite by buying back 30k of the March 45 calls for .30 and sold 30k of the April 45 calls at .90 to open.
  9. SCHW- there was a buyer of the Jan14 17/15 1×2 put spread, 5,000 by 10,000x for .025.  This could be an outright bearish bet or cheap near the money protection against long stock position.
  10. BBRY – stock was on a tear today after being down in the morning, closing up 14% on unconfirmed rumors that Lenovo may be interested in the beleaguered handset maker.  As the stock was rising it looks like a trader closed a bearish bet in March expiration, selling the 13/14 put spread 18,000x at .32




Here are the options of note from Friday:

1. SPY The S&P opened up, came sharply back in and then moved orderly up the rest of the day with the SPY closing up 0.66. In one of the bigger trades, 30,000 Mar16 152 puts traded with 50,000 Sept 130 puts.  Another block of 33,900 of the same Sept puts traded later in the day.  On both lines 121K+ traded over the course of the day.  Both have sufficient open interest. The Mar08 weekly at-the-moneys saw a lot of trading with almost 90K of the 155 calls, 100K of the 155 puts and 120K of the 155.5 calls trading.

2. BAC Larger than average volume.  The Mar08 and Mar16 12 calls both traded over 50K times.  The Mar16/Jun 14 put spread went up 17K times.  After passing the stress test Thursday (Part I) the stock opened up and then drifted down ending up down 1.5%.  IV30 was unchanged.

3. APPL Didn’t have a high volume day, but the Mar08 weeklies were busy.  The Mar08 430 line traded about 120K times and the 435 calls traded over 70K times.

4. IWM had an above average volume day.  Biggest bloc trade is 12,300 of the Mar28 weekly 89 puts which looks like a sell.

5. EBAY – more than double average option volume today.  One of the more interesting trades was the Apr 52.50/47 put spread which was bought along with a sale of the Apr 57.50 calls 4000 times for $1.  As Dan pointed out on QuickHits, the stock has been down 6% in the last 5 days and “this could be a put spread collar against 400k shares of stock offering protection btween 51.50 and 47, with a chance to participate on upside btween current levels and 56.50.”

6. NAV continued big volume days since earnings before the open on the 7th.  Stock was up another 11% today, making it up 44% since earnings.  It looks like the Mar strikes haven’t caught up with the stock yet with the Mar08 weeklies only going to 32 and the Mar16’s to 36.  On February 22nd someone bought 12,000 Apr 30 calls for $.65, they are $6 bid now.

7. FSLR – Is down 27% since pre-earnings highs on February 19th.  A trader bought 4000 of the Apr 31/35 call spreads for $.40.

8. XLF  A big trade in the Jun 18/20 call spread as 45,446 traded while 21,500 Sep 19 calls went up.  The June spread looks like a sale as do the Septs.  The Jun calls have sufficient open interest, the Septs not quite as much.

9. P Was up $2 after good earnings.  IV30 came in 29%. Stock opened up even a  dollar higher and then rapidly came in. Check out the two biggest trades of the day, ouch:

P two biggest trades
Chart courtesy of Livevol

10. AMTD A buyer of 20K of the Aug 23 calls for $.65.  That line has over 86K open interest.  The highest by far of any option line.  This new trade followed a buyer of 39,291 on March 5th for $.35 and 37,402 for $.25 on February 28th.