Wednesday’s Notable Options Activity: $EWZ, $VALE, $RSX, $XLE, $XOP, $VLO

by Enis September 25, 2014 6:30 am • Commentary

Commodity-related ETFs and stocks dominated options volume yesterday.  Otherwise, options market volumes were quite low.

1.  EWZ – The Brazilian ETF bounced back above the critical $46 support level yesterday, after briefly touching its lowest level since April in the morning.  EWZ had sold off about 15% since early September.  Someone bought the Jan15 40 / 50 risk reversal, selling 55k of the Jan15 40 puts at an average price of around 1.36 to buy 55k of the Jan15 50 calls for an average price of around 1.78.

2.  VALE – Brazilian iron ore producer hit a 5 year low on Monday.  Even though VALE bounced yesterday, puts were still more active than calls, with a buyer of around 25k of the Dec 11 puts for 0.54 midday.  VALE is down 24% year-to-date.

3.  RSX – Russia has been out of the headlines for a couple of weeks, though the Russian Ruble remains near an all-time low vs. the U.S. dollar, down 15% in the past 3 months.  The Russian ETF bounced yesterday, and there was a buyer of over 14k of the Jan15 25 calls for an average price of 0.87 in the morning.

4.  XLE – XLE traded below its 200 day moving average for the first time since February, but bounced to close right at its 200 day ma.  Volume was the highest since February as well.  Two big put rolls – trader sold 28k of the Oct 91 puts at 1.70 to close to buy 28k of the Nov 84 puts for 0.68 to open; trader sold 25k of the Nov 92 puts at 3.10 to close to buy 25k of the Nov 84 puts for 0.70 to open.  Both rolls traded around 10:30 am EDT.  XLE has not traded below $84 since February.

5.  XOP – Another energy ETF where there was a put roll.  Trader sold 10k of the Oct 73 puts at 4.10 to close to buy 15k of the Oct 69 puts for 1.80 to open.  XOP touched its lowest level since March yesterday morning.

6.  VLO – The Oct 47 puts traded over 10k at an average price of 1.415, in what looks like buying near the close.  VLO hit its lowest level since February as the broader energy sector weakness has hurt the stock in the past month.  VLO has not traded below $45 since December.