Too Many Options: $SPY, $XOP, $AIG, $AA, $NVDA

by Enis August 6, 2014 6:05 am • Commentary

Options volumes very light among single stocks, with traders increasingly focused on protection, evidenced by the elevated CBOE composite put/call ratio for the third straight session (closed at 1.19 yesterday).

1.  SPY – While volumes in other macro instruments (such as VIX, QQQ, and IWM) were lower than the past week, SPY options volumes, particularly on the puts side, were above average once again.  The Aug16th 190, 191, and 192 puts were the most active lines, all trading over 50k on the session.  Outside of August, there was a buyer of over 40k of the Jan15 165 puts around the close for 2.10 to open.  The 200 day moving average in SPY is now around $186.

2.  XOP – Dan discussed the put activity in the oil and gas ETF in yesterday’s NTT post:

When the etf was $73.62, a trader sold to close 15,000 of the Aug 79 puts at 5.25 to close, and used the premium to buy 30,000 of the Sept 73 puts for 2.50 to open.

XOP is still up more than 7% year-to-date, outperforming the S&P 500, but the sector is more than 10% below its all-time high set in late June.

3.  AIG – Buyer of 40k of the Jan15 60 calls for a 3.20 average over the course of the session.  That is over $12 million in total premium.  AIG’s high this year was $56, and the stock closed down yesterday after a decent earnings report.  The 200 day moving average is around $51.35.

4.  AA – Buyer of around 15k of the Jan15 16 puts for 1.15 average price in the afternoon.  AA is still up 55% year-to-date even with the selling over the last week, and the stock is more than 30% above its 200 day moving average of $12.27.

5.  NVDA – Buyer of 15k of the Sept 16 puts for 0.33 midday.  NVDA reports earnings on Thursday after the close, and the stock is up 10% year-to-date.  The stock has held its 200 day moving average (now around $17.35) over the past couple of weeks, and has not touched it since April 2013.  The options market is implying about a 6.5% move for the event, much higher than both the 4 quarter average of 3.25% and the 8 quarter average of 3%.