Too Many Options: $BAC, $INTC, $MNST, $SPY, $XLE, $XLF, $P, $DGX

by Dan December 19, 2013 4:31 pm • Commentary

Index and etf options were very active today in front of tomorrow’s triple witching expiration, here were some of the large option blocks trades that caught our attention:

1. XLF – The December 21 calls were the most active with most closing, nearly 200k options traded in the strike.  Late in the day when the etf was about $21.60 a trader bought 50k Jan14 22 calls for 17 cents.

2. XLE –looked like a large roll where a trader sold 45k Dec 85 puts at .38 to close when the stock was 86.65 and bought 45k Jan 85/82 put spreads for .69 to open.

3. SPY – After yesterday’s massive move towards the previous highs, a trader look to possibly put on some year end protection by buying 42k Dec 31st quarterly 177/172 put spreads paying .36, this trade was on a 16 delta, meaning the trader also bought 672,000 shares of SPY for 181.60.

4. BAC – a trader closed a bearish position by selling the Jan 15/14 put spread at .15, on an uneven ratio, selling 28k Jan 15 puts and buying back to close 35k Jan 14 puts.

5. INTC – a trader sold 20k February 23 puts at .27 to open.  This is a curious sale as the premium is about 1% of the underlying stock price and down about 8%.  This option has a 19 delta, so the options market saying that it has about a 19% chance of being in the money in a period that will capture an earnings event, doesn’t seem like a great risk reward for an outright sale.

6. MNST – not a name we see a lot of flow in, but a trader sold to close 10k Jan 45 puts at .05 and then appeared to put on a wide collar by selling 10k June 85 calls at .70 and using the proceeds to buy 10k of the June 45 puts for .95 when the stock was 65.67.

7. P – A trader sold 6k Jan 33 calls at .33 and bought 9k Jan 24 puts for .48

8. DGX – there was a buyer of the May 40 puts to open, 32k were bought for .70. The stock is down 18% from its 52 week highs in November. But this trade points to worry about even more downside.