Too Many Options: AAL, BAC, EWZ, FB, P, SINA, TIBX, XRT

by Dan May 27, 2014 4:00 pm • Commentary

Today’s low volume drift higher to another new all time high in the SPX is exhibit A why long short traders should always adhere to the market saying “Never Short a Dull Market”.   Here are some of the larger trades in the options market that caught our eye:

1. BAC – the stock got a more than 3% boost today as they announced that they have re-submitted their previously flawed plan to return capital to shareholders.  Options volumes ran hot at more than 1.5x average daily volume with almost 70% of the options traded being calls.  The most active options on the day were the May 30th (Friday expiration) 15.50 calls, with 25,000 trading, followed by 20,000 of the Jan15 17 calls.

2. P – September puts were active, in what could have been a roll. Almost 6,000 of the Sept 20 puts were bought to open for about 1.00, while 7,000 of the September 18 puts were bought for .66 to close.  Given the stock’s recent bounce, this could be a long holder rolling up a hedge.

3. SINA – the stock has been on a wild ride since collapsing nearly 10% following their Q1 results Thursday night, then reclaiming almost all of the losses the next day.   Earlier when the stock was $45.47 it appeared that one holder was looking to add some yield to a long, or was drawing a line in the sand that the stock would not cross as a trader sold 15,000 June 50 calls at 1.00 to open.

4. TIBX – got a huge bounce today on takeover chatter up more than 8%. with options volume running 10x average daily volume with 90% being calls.  The two most active lines were 7300 of the June 23 calls and 2,000 of the June 21 calls, most being bought.

5. AAL – as the stock made a new all time intra-day high, some traders might have been looking for protection as puts nearly doubled that of call volume with buyer of 7,000 Aug 38 puts for 1.85 to open and 2500 of the Aug 40 puts for 2.85 to open

6. EWZ – Brazilian equities under-performed most global equity markets, down about 1.5%, causing one trader to look down buying 22,500 of the Dec 43 puts for 2.39 to open when stock was 47.66.

7. FB – the stock had one of its largest one day rallies in weeks, up more than 3%, options volumes ran 1.25 average daily volume, with calls outnumbering puts more than 2 to 1. The most active options were 24,000 of the May 30th 63 calls, 23,500 June 65 calls, and 23,000 June 62.50 calls.

8. XRT – retail results and guidance remain fairly mixed, despite most companies having the perfect excuse for disappointing Q1 due to weather, many gave forward guidance that was worse than expected (TGT & WMT last week).  Later this week COST will report, and despite showing a better than expected April sales comp, the stock continues to under-perform the XRT of which it is a component.  Today when the etf was trading $83.79 a trader bought the June 83/79 1×2 put spread 10,000 by 20,000 for .59 to open. This trade breaks-even at $82.41 on the downside with  max gain of $3.41 at $79