Too Many Options: $SPY, $IWM, $BAC, $AAPL, $GPOR

by Enis August 4, 2014 7:14 am • Commentary

Puts were much more active than calls on Friday, as options traders became much more interested in hedging after Thursday’s 2% decline.  The CBOE composite put/call ratio closed at its highest level since October:

CBOE Composite Put/Call Ratio, Courtesy of Bloomberg
CBOE Composite Put/Call Ratio, Courtesy of Bloomberg

Here were the most active names in the options market.

1.  SPY – Options volumes were around 2x the average 1 month daily volume.  August puts dominated the volume, with the Aug19th 190 puts the most active line.  30 day implied volatility moved up to 14.5, its highest level since mid-April.   Outside of August expiration, there was another far out-of-the-money put buyer, with someone paying 0.51 for 50k of the Dec 145 put.  SPY last traded below 145 in January 2013.

2.  IWM – IWM touched the 110 level intraday for the first time since mid-May.  The $107 level is the next major support that has held throughout 2014.  August options were once again very active, similar to SPY.  Besides that activity, the Sept20th 110 puts traded over 40k on the session at an average price of $3.04.

3.  BAC – Looks like a trader rolled the Aug16th 17 puts out to the Oct 17 puts 120k times, paying 0.075 for the privilege.  BAC last traded above $17 in early April.  After the stock’s weakness last week, it is down 3.8% year-to-date.

4.  AAPL – Stock outperformed the market in a weak tape last week.  The Sept20th 105 calls were the most active line (all-time high is $100.72), with a buyer of about 10k for 0.66 in the morning.  We discussed AAPL in Friday’s CotD post.

5.  GPOR – Options rarely trade in Gulfport energy, but there was a large 2 way trade in the afternoon on Friday.  The Aug 50 puts traded 15k for 1.10, and the Oct 55 calls traded 12,500 at 3.30.  The stock closed at its lowest level since August 2013, and the company reports earnings after the close on Wednesday.