Monday’s Notable Options Activity: $QQQ, $XLE, $RSX, $FB, $TWTR, $GTAT

by Enis September 16, 2014 6:17 am • Commentary

VIX spot closed above 14 yesterday for the first time in a month, though stock and options volumes were relatively subdued yesterday.  Macro ETFs comprised much of the most active options list.

1.  QQQ – Yesterday was the largest down day for the Nasdaq ETF since a 2% decline on July 31st.  30 day implied volatility moved more than a point higher.  The most active line was the Nov 105 calls, which traded over 70k at an average price of 0.255 throughout the session.

2.  XLE – In sharp contrast to last week, the energy sector was the best performer yesterday.  Another put roll in the morning, continuing a recent theme in XLE, with the trader selling 28k of the Oct 93 puts at 2.00 to buy 28k of the Oct 91 puts for 1.25, rolling down protection.

3.  RSX – While Russia and Ukraine have been out of the headlines in the past week, the Russian Ruble continues to hit new all-time lows vs. the U.S. dollar day after day.  Buyer of nearly 50k of the Sept26th 22.5 puts in RSX for 0.10 to open shortly after the open.  RSX has not traded below $22.50 since May.

4.  FB – Like many other big Nasdaq winners, Facebook had one of its largest one-day declines of the past year.  Nonetheless, calls were more than twice as active as puts.  The top 6 most active lines were all call strikes in Sept and Oct between $75 and $80, as traders looked to play for a bounce after yesterday’s selling.  30 day implied volatility rose from around 26 to above 30.

5.  TWTR – Twitter sold off more than 5% below the $50 technical level, but like FB, TWTR options were skewed towards calls by a ratio of 2.1 to 1.  The Oct 49 call strike was the most active line, trading over 25k at an average price of $2.75 on the session.  TWTR’s 200 day moving average is at $47.

6.  GTAT – GTAT has been under pressure since AAPL’s iPhone 6 and Watch announcement last week.  The stock closed at a 6 month low yesterday, and there was a buyer of 25k of the Dec 11 puts for 1.375 to open.  The $10 level is the next important support for the stock.