Too Many Options: $AAPL, $FB, $MSFT, $GDX, $OXY

by Enis July 14, 2014 6:00 am • Commentary

The large-cap tech stocks had the most options volume on Friday, in a session that was very light on volume once again, continuing a trend of the past 3 months.

1.  AAPL – The stock set a new 52 week high of $96.80 last week, moving above the $95 level that was the high in mid-June.  AAPL reports earnings after the close on July 22.  The Jul19th 95 calls traded over 60k at an average price of 1.16 on the session.  AAPL’s all-time high is $100.72 from Sept 2012.

2.  FB – Calls traded nearly 2x the average daily volume over the past month.  A trader rolled a call position up and out, selling 29,519 of the Jul19th 65 calls at 1.94 in the afternoon to buy the same number of Sept 70 calls for 2.95 to open.  FB’s all-time high is $72.59 from March of this year.  FB reports earnings after the close on July 23.

3.  MSFT – Three way trade in longer dated calls near 1pm.  The Jan15 40 calls traded 16k times at 3.175, vs. 23k of the Jan16 40 calls at 4.55 and 40k of the Jan16 45 calls for 2.60.  MSFT reports earnings after the close on July 22.  The stock is up 12.5% year-to-date, but has struggled near $42 since early April.

4.  GDX – GDX neared its highest level since Sept 2013 last week, though it ran into selling on Thursday.  The $28 is a crucial spot to watch on the upside for a potential breakout.  Buyer of 20k of the Dec 30/35 calls for 0.74 to open.  GDX last traded above $30 in August 2013 for a short period, and has not touched $35 since its sever break lower in April 2013.

5.  OXY – OXY fell down to its 50 day moving average on Friday for the first time since mid-May.  The Aug16th 105 calls traded over 20k on the day at an average price of 0.997.  OXY reports earnings on July 31.  The stock’s high this year is $105.64.