Here is some untied, generally directional options activity that caught my eye during Friday’s trading:
1. GDX – on a day that saw the Gold Miner etf make new 2 month highs, call volume ran hot at almost 2.5x average daily volume. There was a bullish roll down in Jan 16, trader sells 10,000 Jan 2016 40 calls at .30 to close and pays 1.15 for 10,000 Jan 2016 29 calls when the etf was 20.49
2. GLD – call volume was almost 2.5x average daily volume with calls outnumbering puts 117,000 to 41,000. There appeared to be a buyer accumulating the March 120 calls, with 41,000 trading on the day, with the largest block a buy of 15,700 for 2.26 when the etf was $116.97.
3. NUAN – total options volume ran 6x avg daily volume, with more than half the volume coming in one trade. When the stock was $13.65 (also a new 52 week low) a trader paid .35 for 20,000 Feb 13 puts to open. These puts are likely dollar cheap protection for a long, or a fairly reasonable vol purchase into the company’s fiscal Q1 results that should fall in Feb expiration. Implied vol should rise into the mid to high 40s prior to results:
NUAN is a voice recognition software maker, which Carl Icahn is the largest shareholder (in their latest filing) with 60,785,ooo shares, or about 19% of the shares outstanding.
4. JCP – after the monster 20% one day move earlier in the week, a trader pays 1.30 for 10,000 of the Feb 9 puts when stock was 7.87, possibly a long holder setting a stop, hard to tell. These are 80 delta options, and seems a bit hefty for a hedge, and expensive given the time left to expiration for an outright bearish bet
5. MCD – for the second time last week, call buying was the story, when stock was 93.32 a trader paid 1.15 for 11,500 Feb 97.50 calls to open. On Tuesday a trader did the following:
MCD – when stock was 93.43 early in the trading session a trader rolled a bullish view, selling 35,000 Jan 95 calls at .90 to close and bought 35,000 Feb 95 calls for 2.27 to open.
7. AAL – saw bullish activity,
8. UAL – saw a bullish roll,
9. RAD – saw what looked like an opening overwrite of long stock,
10. DD – Trian fund launched a proxy fight for board representation as expected,
11. AAPL – total options volume ran almost 1.5x avg daily with calls outnumbering puts almost 2 to 1. Two of the five most active single stock options were both Jan (next week expiration) calls in AAPL, with 28,500 of the Jan 115 calls trading, and 25,900 Jan 112 calls trading.