Too Many Options: $EWJ, $HRB, $MOS, $XLF

by Dan September 4, 2013 8:38 pm • Commentary

Slow creep up all day, at times it felt like watching paint dry, but there were a few large options trades of interest:

  1. EWJ:  large roll in the 11 strike puts, a trader Sells 50k Sept 11 Puts at .13 to close and Buys 50k Oct 11 Puts for .24 to open.
  2. MOS: there was a buyer of the Sept 45 calls, paid .35 for 12k, this looked to be closing as there is 20k open interest in the line, could have been an over-writer closing as the premium of less than 1% does not merit leaving the short option on with just a little more than 2 weeks to Sept expiration.
  3. HRB: Huge seller of the Jan14 26/30 strangle, trader sells 23,800 at 2.00 to open (25k ended up trading on the day).  This could be a yield enhancement play for a long holder who thinks the stock could stay within 26 and 30 by Jan14 expiration.  If the trader was in fact long the stock, if the stock were 30 or higher their stock would be called away at 30 but would have effectively sold it at 32 (call strike plus premium received).  If the stock were 26 or lower the trader would be put the stock, but under the worse case scenario he would own the stock at 24 (put strike minus the premium received).  If the stock closed btwn 26 and 30 the trader would collect the 2.00.  Obviously a bit of a guessing game, but seems like an odd name for someone to sell vol in without and underlying position in the stock.
  4. XLF: Buyer of the Dec 19/17 put spread, 20k are bought for .39 to open, could be an outright bearish bet as the structure does not exactly offer a great protection as it does not kick in until down about 6% from current levels.