Here is some generally directional, untied options activity that caught my eye during Thursday’s trading:
1. JPM – total options volume ran 1.5x avg daily volume with calls dominating, making up 85% of the days volume. There were two bullish rolls that that were responsible for a good bit of the activity. First when the stock was 61.
2. GLD – total options volume ran 1.3x avg daily volume with calls trading 4x that of puts. Apparently traders were rolling down strikes in the near term and looking for relatively low premium was to play for a big bounce by the end of the summer. First in the morning when the etf was $116 a trader sold 13,000 March 129 calls at .045 to close, sold 7,000 April 130 calls at .19 to close and bought 10,000 April 125 calls for .50 to open. These break-even at $125.50 up 8% in less than 2 months. Also in the afternoon when the etf was $116.
A quick look at the five chart of GLD shows that a break-even of the $125.50 (red level) level for the April trade seems achievable under the right set of circumstances as this was a level the etf was trading a little more than a month ago. But the Sept trade with a break-even at the breakdown level from 2013 seems like it is a bit of a “black swan” trade, meaning a hedge against a broad market decline:
3. XOM – on a day that saw crude oil take in the chin with brent down 2% and wti down 4%, one investor made a chunky purchase of near dated out of the money calls tied to stock on an 18 delta. The trader paid .
4. XOP – the S&P Oil E&P etf saw a decent roll up of strikes and extension of a bearish or protective view when the etf was 51.
5. DAR – here is a stock that I have never heard of, Darling Ingredients. When the stock was 17.38 a trader paid .45 for 20,000 of the March 17 puts to open and sold 20,000 of the July 15 puts at .25 to open. Coming into the day, the stock had only 88,000 in total options open interest, with most in puts, 45,000 of the Oct 14 puts and 30,000 of the April 17 puts. The company is scheduled to report Q4 results Wednesday after the close.
6. ZNGA – saw a massive roll down in calls when the stock was 2.