On a day that saw heavy selling across all the major indices including the Nasdaq’s worst day since 2011, these were some large options trades that caught our attention:
1. VIX – Huge roll in calls, trader sold 160k Feb 24/29 call spreads at .38 to close, and bought 40k Mar 20/35 call spreads for 1.39 to open & bought 60k Mar 25/35 call spreads for .625 to open. In another roll a trader sold 10k Mar 17/27 call spreads to close and bought 20k May 17/30 call spreads to open.
2. EEM – on a day that saw the etf make a new 5 month low, puts outnumbered calls at a pace of 4.5 to 1. There seemed to be no shortage of put sellers though as some traders were possibly closing hedges or just closing outright bearish bets.
3. GM – The stock got slammed today (but in line with the SPX) on the back of worse than expected January auto-sales and obviously an overall crappy market. Interestingly calls out numbered puts at almost 1.5 to 1, but much of the activity was bearish. In the morning there was a seller of 24,000 March 42 calls at 13 cents to close when the stock was $35.42. While these are very cheap options from a premium standpoint, this sale is pretty much a trader throwing the white flag up on their trade, getting whatever they can for the options. In a much more bearish trade, there was a buyer of 20,000 Feb 7th (this Friday expiration) 35.50 strike puts paying 1.07 to open. This could be protection against a long position or obviously just a short term bearish bet. There was a seller of 12k June 40 calls at .89 to close. There was one bullish trade that stuck out in the afternoon where a trader bought 8k March 38 calls for .62 to open.
4. AAPL – Bullish options trade which was fairly decent size for a $500 stock, trader paid 2.
5. YHOO – A ratio spread in March puts traded as a customer sold 1900 36 puts at 2.05 and bought 3000 32 puts for .57. This is possibly a roll with some profit taking as the puts sold are more deltas and premium than the ratio of the puts bought.
6. GDX – A trader bought the June 24/27 1×2 call spread 1500 by 3000 at even vs. 23.73 in the stock.