Too Many Options: $AAPL, $YHOO, $INTC, $GE, $HYG, $VIX

by Enis August 18, 2014 6:03 am • Commentary

Options volumes on Friday were dominated by expiration, as the vast majority of options traded were expiring after the close.  The Nasdaq 100 index did make a new closing high, and single stock options were focused on the tech sector.

1.  AAPL – Interesting call sale in Apple to open – when the stock was $97.72, a trader sold 20,000 of the Sept 12th weekly expiration 101 calls at 1.17.  Possibly an overwrite to a long position, since that is the week that Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 6, on Sept 9th.  Outside of August, the other active line was the Sept20th 97.5 calls, which traded over 20k at an average price of $3.12.  AAPL’s high this year is $99.44, and its all-time high is $100.72.  

2.  YHOO – Buyer of 8k by 16k of the Sept 36 / 39 1×2 call spread for $0.16 shortly after the open.  The profit range on that trade is $36.16 to $41.84, vs. the stock’s high of the year of $41.72.  The Alibaba IPO is also expected in mid-September.  YHOO 30 day implied volatility is now around 38, likely to continue to rise into the Alibaba event.

3.  INTC – The Aug22nd 33.50 calls traded over 18k at an average price of 0.61 on the session.  INTC has consolidated its earnings gap quite well, and the stock is up 32% year-to-date, one of the best mega cap performers in 2014.

4.  GE – Looks like a trader rolled 12k of the Aug16th 26 puts out to the Sept20th 26 puts, paying 0.42 for the privilege.  GE has been in the red since the start of 2014, and remains down 8.5% year-to-date.

5.  HYG – HYG puts were active as the Sept 93/90 put spread and the Sept 94/90 put spread both traded around 10k.  HYG has rallied about 2.5% since the early August low, benefitting both from lower rates and tighter credit over that period.

6.  VIX – August VIX expiration is on the morning of Wednesday, August 20th.  The The Aug 16 and 15 calls were the most active lines, both trading over 60k.  Outside of August expiration, the Sept 15 call was the most active line, trading over 40k at an average price of 0.90.  The VIX sept future closed at 13.90 on Friday.