Options volumes on Friday were dominated by macro ETFs, as markets have started to move together to start 2014 (see our Macro Wrap on Friday about the return of Risk-On / Risk-Off).
1. VIX – VIX reached its highest level since early October in a large one day move, up 4.37 points to 18.14 (largest since February 2013). Options volumes were about 3x the one-month average. Someone sold 100k Feb 20/
2. SPY – Options volumes were more than 2.5x the one-month average. The Jan31st 179.50 puts were the most active line, trading over 100k at an average price of $1.10. SPY broke its 50 day ma for the first time since October. The FOMC release on Wednesday is the main macro event this week.
3. XLF – Trader bought 24,
4. C – One of the few single names that saw robust options activity. C fell below its 200 day moving average for the first time since September 2012, quite a run for the stock. Buyer of 20k of the Feb 52.5/55 call spread for $0.21 in the morning. The $50-$51 area is now important resistance after Friday’s break.
5. MSFT – 3x normal options volume as the stock moved 2% higher after its earnings report, though the stock was unable to close above its declining 50 day moving average around $37.10. The Feb22nd 32 puts were actually the most active line, trading over 30k for an average of $0.10.
6. GDX – The March 25 calls traded over 20k at an average price of $0.95. GDX last traded above $25 in late October. The ETF is trading 12% higher on the year, though still only $8 above its 10 year low from October 2008.
7. HAL – Stock broke to a new 3 month low on Friday, though still above its 200 day moving average around $47.35. Buyer of 7500 of the Feb22nd 47 puts for $0.49 in the afternoon.