Too Many Options: $IWM, $NE, $NOK, $JPM, $WMT

by Enis March 24, 2014 7:05 am • Commentary

Very light options volume on Friday despite the intraday volatility in the indices.  Most of the volume was in ETFs.

1.  IWM – April puts were active, as traders re-adjusted protection positions after March options expired on Friday.  The Apr19th 113/106 put spread traded 10k times for $0.44 shortly after the open.  The Apr19th 113 puts were the most active line, trading almost 70k on the day.  IWM’s first support is around the 50 day ma, near $115.

2.  NE – Stock neared its 50 day ma, which is now around $32, for the first time since the start of 2014.  NE rallied almost 10% last week, but is still down 15% year-to-date.  Someone sold 28k of the June 32 calls at 1.36, vs. buying 25k of the June 29 puts for 0.88, both to open.

3.  NOK – Options volumes were more than 3x the 1 month average.  NOK hit a 6 week low on Friday.  Implied volatility hit its highest level in 6 months after Friday’s flurry of options buying.  The Apr19th 8 calls were the most active line, trading over 28k at an average price of 0.15.  The Apr 6 puts traded nearly 20k, at an average price of 0.09.

4.  JPM – The Apr19th 62.5 calls traded nearly 20k at an average price of 0.48, mostly seller initiated.  JPM broke above $60 for the first time since the spring of 2000, though the stock reversed back to unchanged on its highest volume day since September.

5.  WMT – Highest volume trading day in more than a year for WMT.  The stock closed right at its 200 day moving average, and at a 2 month high.  The May 80 and the Apr19th 80 calls both traded over 10k.