Here is some untied, generally directional options activity that caught my eye during Monday’s trading:
1. AAL – after trading down 6% shortly after the open, capping a 17% decline from last week’s all time highs, the stock staged a huge reversal, closing down less than 1% on the day. When the stock was $46.50 there was a large bullish roll down in upside calls, a trader sold 10,
2. UAL – saw a large bearish roll when the stock was $68.25,
3. SCTY – another sector that has traded along with the volatility in oil has been solar. At one point SCTY was up 10%, closing up 8.5% and calls were very active at 5x average daily. When the stock was $52, a trader paid 1.
4. AAPL – the stock staged a healthy late day recovery on a day the iPhone maker sold $6.5 billion in dollar denominated bonds. Shortly after the open when the stock was near the lows of the day at 117.20 a trader paid .92 for 23,000 Feb 13th (next week expiration) 121 calls to open. The three most active strikes on the day all expired this week, and all calls: 42,000 Feb weekly 120 calls, 38,000 Feb weekly 118 calls and 30,000 Feb 117 calls. I think it is safe to say that short term traders are playing for a breakout above the recent highs at $120.
5. CMCSA – looked like a massive opening put sale when the stock was $52.60, 45,000 of the Feb 6th weekly 54.50 puts were sold at 2.15 to open, or $9.67 million in premium. If the stock is above $54.50 on Friday’s close the premium seller would collect the full $2.15. Obviously we have no idea what the intent of the trade was, and if in fact it was an outright bullish bet, you never know, it could be to cover a short position of 4.5 million shares. Most likely it is a trader setting a limit order, where they would be happy to buy the stock at $52.35 on this Friday’s close. If this is the case, the 1 yr chart below of CMCSA 30 day at the money implied vol could be the reason as it approaches 1 year highs: