Monday’s Notable Options Activity: $CRM, $DD, $EEM, $GREK, $HLF, $JD, $RSX, $XLF

by Dan December 23, 2014 8:49 am • Commentary

Here is some untied, generally directional options activity that caught my eye during Monday’s trading:

1. RSX – when the Russia Vectors Equity etf was 15.94, five minutes prior to the close there was a large opening buyer of downside puts paying .25 for 26,400 of the Jan 11 puts.  The etf is up nearly 22% from last week’s panic low of $12,50.

2. DD – saw some late day call activity where a trader rolled what looked to be a bullish bet up.  When the stock was 74.17 a trader sold to close 22,000 Jan 72.50 calls at 2.17 to close and bought 22,000 Jan 74.50 calls for 1.19 to open. Shortly after another 5,000 Jan 74.50 calls were bought for 1.18 to open making 31,000 on the day.  DD closed at a new 52 week and 14 year high.

3. EEM – trader paid 1.55 for 50,000 of the Dec2015 38.5/41.5 call spread to open when stock was 39,30.  This is a totally bizarre trade as the premium is more than half the width of the spread and spread is in the money with more than a year to expiration.  This trade is a perfect example of not ever really being able to glean certain activity in the options market without speaking directly to the trade that initiated a trade.  For instance this trade could have been against something over the counter, have little to do with what looks like a bullish bet.

4. CRM – with the stock 59.73 there was an opening buyer of 5,000 of the May 45 puts paying .86 to open.  This is a very curious strike, even if for protection as the break-even is down 26% at $44.14, down 26% and below the range the stock has been in for most of the year:

From Bloomberg
From Bloomberg

5. JD – options volume ran 2.5x avg daily volume, with most coming in a large closing put sale.  When the stock was 24.53 a trader sold 35,000 Jan 23 puts at .60

6. XLF – saw what looked like some targeted put buying in the Jan30th weekly expiration, when the stock was 24.75 a trader bought to open 11,000 of the Jan30th 24.50 / 23 put spread paying .29.  This trade breaks-even at 23.71, a level the stock was trading at last week.

7. HLF – top 10 most active strikes were all puts, looks like mostly buying, with total volume 1x avg daily already. The two most active strikes are the Jun 27.50 puts with 3,800 trading, and 3800 of the June 25 puts, both opening.  Total options volume ran 1.5x average daily volume.

8. GREK – bearish roll out and down in the Greece equity etf, a trader sold 1,000 Jan 13 puts to close and bought 4150 of the Feb 12 puts to open for 1.10 when the etf was 14.57.