Tuesday’s Notable Options Activity: $CLF, $DIS & $GLF

by Dan April 29, 2015 9:20 am • Commentary

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

1. CLF – saw a pre-earnings bullish roll. When the stock was 6.18 a trader sold to close 20,000 July 6 calls at .90 and bought to open 20,000 July 7 calls for .55. The closing portion of the trade looked to have been opened for .34 when stock was $4.78 on April 13th:

CLF saw some opening call buying,when the stock was 4.78 a trader paid .34 for 20,000 July 6 calls, the company is slated to report earnings April 24th. The stock has been banging along multi-year lows for the last month and shockingly down 95% from the all time highs made in 2011, and short interest sits at 52% of the float. As always with unusual options activity, it is impossible to know a trader/investor’s intent of a trade, and while some my consider this call purchase a bullish play but could also be a way to protect a short position.

This trader has had a nice directional call over the last month.  The stock is up in the pre-market a couple percent on an earnings, but guidance on the call will likely determine if shorts continue to scramble to cover (56% short interest).

2. DIS – the stock continues to see bullish options flow in front of this weekend’s Avengers opening and next week’s earnings report (Friday saw a buyer of 10,000 May 111 calls for 1.70 to open, $1.7 million in premium). When the stock was 110.55, a trader sold to close 2,000 May 1st weekly 108 calls at 2.80 and bought 3,000 May 29th weekly 113 calls for 1.85 to open,earnings are on May 5th.

3. GLD – the shiny metal seemingly made a fairly epic double bottom low last month, and $110 should service as massive technical support in the etf:

GLD 1yr chart from Bloomberg
GLD 1yr chart from Bloomberg

The etf has technical resistance at $120 and then again at $125.  Call volume exploded yesterday, 4x the average, and 4x that of puts, with 75,000 of the June 120 calls the most active strike. The largest block trade in the name yesterday was an opening buy of 16,000 June 120 calls for 1.18 when the etf was $116.36, which break-even at $121.18, up 4% on June expiration.

I would note that while these calls are out of the money, break-even is just above important resistance, and options prices are generally low, with 30 day at the money implied volatility approaching the lowest levels of 2015:

GLD 1yr chart of 30 day at the money IV from Bloomberg
GLD 1yr chart of 30 day at the money IV from Bloomberg