Too Many Options: $BMY, $FB, $MSFT, $SIRI, $HPQ, $CSCO, $P, $F, $YUM

by Dan December 17, 2013 4:34 pm • Commentary

Single stock options, particularly in large cap tech, dominated much of the large blocks today as investors look to be adjusting positions into year end with a good amount of rolls dominating the action.

1. FB – heading into Friday’s inclusion to the S&P 100 and 500, a trader did a massive roll in Jan and Feb calls where he/she sold 40k Jan 50 calls at 5.65 to close, bought 60k Feb 55 calls to open for 4.59 to open.

2. MSFT – the stock is down more than 6% since making new 52 week highs earlier in the month as it becomes increasingly less likely that their board will be able to announce a CEO successor to Ballmer by the end of the year.  Traders continue to peel out of upside calls.  Today there was a seller of 47k Jan 40 calls at .16 to close, 63k traded on the day.  At about 1:15 pm a trader sold 18k Jan 3rd expiration 37 calls at .58 to close, with a total of 23k trading on the day, equal to the strikes open interest.

3. SIRI –the stock is down almost 19% since making new 7 year highs in Oct, with today’s close the lowest since early July. A trader took the opportunity at his strike to roll down some puts, likely a hedge against a long, by selling 30k March 3.5 puts at .30 to close and bought 30k June 3 puts for .19 to open.

4. HPQ – the stock continues to hold gains from its better than expected fiscal Q4 earnings late last month.  With implied vol in some 10 points, a trader rolled out of Dec puts set to expire by selling 27k Dec 28 puts at .46 to close and bought 27k Feb 29 Puts paying 2.38 to open. February expiration should catch their fiscal Q1 results.

5. CSCO – the stock held an important technical support level last week at $20 after its less than stellar outlook at an analyst conference.  One trader was looking up though out of the gate this morning buying 12k of the April 21 calls paying .94, 22k ended up trading on the day.  Also in April it looked like selling of the 25 calls where 13k traded for about .12, looked to be closing, could have been a trader rolling down and earlier bullish bet.

6. BMY – the stock has been consolidating above the late October breakout that at the time was to new 10 year highs.  A trader bought 7k of the Jan 52.50 calls paying .60 to close, could have been an overwrite as there is 40k open interest in the call strike.

7.  F – puts were very active today, possibly as some traders think their CEO could fairly imminently be named  as the new MSFT CEO as last week a top contender from QCOM was taken out of the running.  Soon after the open a trader bought 16k Dec (Friday expiration) 16.5 puts paying .08 to open, this could have been a roll down as a trader sold 12k Dec 17 puts at .23 to close a few minutes before, but on a different exchange.

8. YUM – Looked like there was  large roll in Dec to Jan puts where a trader sold 40k Dec 70 puts at .14 to close and bought 40k Jan 65 puts to open paying .49.  This is likely protection against a long position as the company will report their Dec sales in China during the first week of Jan, a number that has been volatile and has moved the stock.

9. P – Looks like a bullish bet went up in the online streaming music service as a trader sold 15k June 20 puts at 1.76 to open, and used the proceeds to buy 15k June 27/32 call spreads for 1.95, the package costing a debit of .19.  This trade breaks-even at 27.19, not far above where it is currently trading, with profits capped at 32, and then on the downside at 20.19, down almost 25% from current levels.