Too Many Options: $MSFT, $FB, $CSCO, $MU, $ECA, $HAL

by Dan February 13, 2014 7:13 am • Commentary

Here is a list of the some of the most interesting untied options activity from yesterday Feb 12th:

1. MSFT  – An interesting roll in MSFT, which looks like a possible call overwrite being rolled.  Customer bought the Apr 31/May 33 call spread, 43,000 times for 1.8750, closing the April line and opening the May line.  The trader had initiated the Apr 31 line in late October around $5.00, so this might be a way of rolling that overwrite up and out to May.  MSFT has moved higher for 5 straight days, and is unchanged on the year.

2. FB – A more typical roll in FB, with the trader selling 46k of the Feb 55 calls at 9.65 to close (nice trade), and buying 46k of the June 65 calls for 6.30 to open, locking in about 3.35 in premium (or about $15 million) in the process.  FB made a new all-time high on Wednesday at 65.06, but reversed to closer by the close.

3. CSCO – Stock down about 4% this morning on weak earnings.  Options volume yesterday was about 5x normal volumes as traders set up for the event.  The Feb22nd  22 puts and the Feb22nd 25 calls were the most active lines, with buyers more aggressive in the options throughout the day.  The Feb 22 and Feb 23 strikes had the most open interest.  CSCO management indicated continued weakness in emerging markets going forward.

4.  MU – The Apr 27 puts, a 64 delta option, traded over 20k at an average price of $3.025, mostly in the morning, mostly seller initiated.  Break-even on that trade is around $24.  MU hit a new 10 year high this week, and is up in 9 of the last 10 months.    The stock has not traded below its 50 day moving average (now around 22.75) since August.

5.  ECA – Buyer of 30k of the July 22 calls for 0.40 in the morning.  ECA, the Canadian natural gas producer, has not traded above $22 since late 2012.

6.  HAL – The Apr 60 calls traded 85k at 0.355, on two separate prints of 42,500 in the afternoon.  HAL’s all-time high is $57.77 from July 2011, and the stock traded 56.52 in November.