Too Many Options: $VIX, $PLUG, $ECA, $PBR, $AMD

by Enis March 11, 2014 8:29 am • Commentary

Stock and options volumes were near their lowest of the year on a quiet Monday.  VIX options continued to be the most active.

1.  VIX – Options volume was about 1.5x the average 1 month daily volume, with calls trading 3x more than puts.  There was a buyer of 60k of the Apr 18/25 call spread for around 0.68 near the close.  The Mar 17 calls also traded over 60k on the day.  We highlighted our thoughts on the VIX in yesterday’s COO post.

2.  PLUG – Stock was up more than 20% as it continues its huge run of the past few months.  More than 200k calls and almost 150k puts traded on the day, and 30 day volatility neared 200.  PLUG is up another 10% in the pre-market.

3.  ECA – Natural gas producer Encana has benefitted from the recent strength in natural gas prices, reaching a 1 year high yesterday.  Buyer of 20k of the Oct 23 calls for 0.90 midday.  ECA last traded above 23 in the fall of 2012.

4.  PBR – PBR hit its lowest level since 2005 as the weakness in Brazilian stocks continues.  The Jan15 15 calls and Jan15 15 puts traded 6500 for 0.34 and 4.99 respectively in the afternoon.

5.  AMD – Trader sold 11,975 of the Jul 4 puts at 0.51 to close shortly after the open, potentially selling out of some long stock at the same time as the stock flushed lower after gapping above $4 on the open.  See our trade from Thursday.