Too Many Options: $SPY, $INTC, $MSFT, $GM, $IYR, $BBRY, $HPQ

by Enis March 20, 2014 7:55 am • Commentary

Stock volumes were elevated, though single stock options volumes were less so, as investors were focused on macro portfolio adjustments after the FOMC announcement.

1.  SPY – Interestingly, calls were more active than usual while puts were in line with the 1 month average volume.  Buyer of 184k of the Mar28th 190 calls for 0.25 around 2:30 pm, just as the Yellen press conference began.  Outside of March, the most active line was the May 177 puts, which traded over 30k.  SPY’s 50 day ma is around $183.

2.  INTC – Semiconductor stocks outperformed the broader market yesterday, INTC included.  INTC broke above its 50 day ma for the first time since late January, and calls were active.  The Oct 30 calls traded over 40k at an average price of 0.236, mostly buyers initiating.

3.  MSFT – MSFT broke out to a new 10 year high yesterday, above December’s $38.98 high.  After a flurry of call buying yesterday, today’s trading was more subdued.  Seller of 16k of the July 42 calls at 0.71 to open, likely an overwrite against long stock.  In the short-term, it will be interesting to see if MSFT can hold that $39 breakout level over the next week.

4.  GM – The June 35 calls were active once again, trading over 20k.  9500 traded at 2.03 in the afternoon.  Open interest has gone from around 20k to around 100k in the past week.  $37 is important resistance in the short-term for GM.

5.  IYR – The REITs ETF had its biggest down day since mid-December, as market participants reacted to higher rates after the FOMC statement.  Buyer of 10k of the Apr25th 67.5 puts before the statement, paying 1.03, and then another 10k bought after the statement, paying $1.35.

6.  BBRY – Stock has stagnated after its blistering start to 2014.  It was up almost 4% yesterday, and there was a buyer of 10k of the Apr 9 calls for 0.99 early in the session, which was followed by a sale of 10k of the Apr 10 calls at 0.49 to close 15 minutes later.  BBRY reports earnings on March 28th.

7.  HPQ – HPQ broke out to its highest level since August 2011.  The $30 level was important multiyear resistance that is now support in the near-term.  The weekly 31.5 calls traded over 20k, and the weekly 30.5 calls traded over 10k.