Too Many Options: $AA, $DOW, $GDX, $GG, $JNPR, $XLF

by Dan January 13, 2014 4:52 pm • Commentary

1) AA – prior to last week’s disappointing Q4 results, the stock was trading at the highest levels in almost two years.  Today a trader rolled calls up and out by selling 45,000 Jan 10 calls at .25 to close and bought 45,000 July 11 calls for .60 to open.

2) DOW – at least one of Goldman Sach’s customers was listening to them on a day that they added DOW to a list of their top “tactical trades” and suggesting call purchases as they see upside to street earnings consensus.  A trader rolled calls up and out by selling 20,000 Jan 44 calls at .14 to close and bought 10,000 Feb 43 calls for 1.40 to open.

3) GDX – if there was a  bright-spot on the day it came from the gold-miners etf closing up almost 3%.   Shortly after the open there was a buyer of 5,000 of the Jan 15 45 calls for 23 cents.  While on the surface this looks like someone looking to make a way out of the money bullish bet, it was likely a closing trade as there is 37,000 open interest in the option.

4) GG – the company made an acquisition overnight and the stock was down 4% at one point on its lows this morning, but came back to close down only 39 bps.  Traders were buying the February 23 calls, as 13,700 on the day, with the largest trade a buy of 4,000 to open for 1.05.

5) GSK – biotech and pharma stocks continue their out-performance as one trader placed a bullish bet on the English drug-maker by selling 3,000 of the Jan 2015 47 puts at 2.10 to open to buy 3,000 of the Jan 2015 52.50 / 60 call spread for 1.90.  The trader collects .20 and if the stock is between 52.50 and 60 on Jan 2015 expiration he can make up to 7.70, btwn 52.50 and 47 he collects .20 and below 47 he is put the stock and losses.

6) JNPR – The stock had a massive day breaking out to new 2 year highs, up 7.5% on news shareholder Elliott Management has gone activist and will push for larger share buybacks and dividends.  One trader shares the bullish view and sold 9,000 Jan 2015 20 puts at 1.20 and bought 9,000 Jan 2015 25/35 call spreads paying 2.90 to open, so the package cost 1.70.  The position breaks event at 26.70 with a max again of 8.30 btwn 26.70 and 35.

7) XLF – over the last few weeks there had been substantial accumulation of calls header into Q4 earnings this week of many of the XLF’s largest components.  One trader sold to close 25,000 of the Jan 22 calls to close in front of JPM and WFC’s results tomorrow before the open.  JPM closes