Thursday’s Notable Options Activity: Tech Dominated Single Stocks

by Dan September 5, 2014 7:06 am • Commentary

Aside from a large in contract terms (75,000) very low delta 190/180 put spread that appeared to be bought in the SPY Sept 30th quarterly options yesterday, single stock options attracted most of the attention, while options in the tech sector dominated most of the large blocks in yesterday’s trade.  Here were a some of the names that stood out to us:

1. GLW – total options volume ran almost 9x avg daily volume. with calls outnumbering puts by more than 2 to 1.   The largest trade on the day was a block of 20,000 of the Oct 22 calls that were bought to open for .22 when stock was 21.20.  These calls closed at .28 despite the stock closing lower than where it was when the options were bought, as implied volatility for short dated options was up almost 4 points on the day:

GLW 2 day chart of 30 day at the money IV from Bloomberg
GLW 2 day chart of 30 day at the money IV from Bloomberg

2. FB – with the stock having made a new all time high on Wednesday, it appeared that one trader rolled a bullish view up and out by selling 17,500 Sept 70 calls at 6.60 to close and bought 20,000 Nov 77.50 calls for 4.35 to open when the stock was $76.38.

3. QCOM – interesting activity in Jan options, looks like a trader closed a short volatility position, buying to close 2800 of the Jan 72.50/80 strangle for 3.34, buying back the jan 80 call and the Jan 72.50 put.  

4. INTC – huge call activity, but looked to be closing, trader sold 37k Sept 36 calls at .24 to and bought 15,000 Oct 36 calls for .69 when the stock was $35.07

5. ELNK – not a stock that we often reference, and to be frank I am shocked they are still in business, but when the stock was 4.11, a trader sold 60,000 Oct 4 calls at .35 to close and bought 33,000 Jan 4 calls for .63 to open, apparently rolling out a bullish bet. 

6. RHT has made it all the way back to its prior highs from March,and up 28% from the April lows.  The stock saw some bullish flow, as a trader paid 1.45 for 5250 of the Sept 62.50/67.50 call spreads. The company is scheduled to report fiscal Q2 earnings on Sept 18th. The options market is already implying about a 7.5% one day move

7. DDD – this company can’t buy a bucket, still down 45% on the year and only up about 10% from last month;s lows.  The stock was downgraded yesterday by Pacific Crest Securities.  When the stock was $51.80 a trader bought 4,000 of the Jan 40 /48 put spread for $3.17.   It looked like the trader sold to close the Jan 40 puts and bought to open the Jan 48 puts, apparently rolling up a bearish bet.

8. VMW – options ran more than 4x average daily volume with calls dominating most of the flow.  It appeared to be a seller, closing out a bullish bet selling 10,000 of the Oct 105 calls at 1.25 to close when the stock was 97.27 shortly after the open.