Big Printin’ DB, GDX, RSX, XOP

by riskreversal December 5, 2016 2:15 pm • Big Printin'

Here are some apparently directional untied options trades that caught our attention in today’s trading:

DB: The beleaguered German bank is reacting well to the NO vote in the Italian referendum over the weekend, up nearly 5% on the day, and seeing some unusual long dated call buying. When the stock was $16.50 shortly after the open, a trader bought a block of 20,000 of the Jan 2018 27 calls for 47 cents. These calls break-even on Jan 2018 expiration, in a little more than 13 months at $27.47, up 66% from the trading level.  From purely a technical standpoint, if these calls were an outright bullish bet, the trader might be eyeing the late 2015 break-down level as it appears the stock might be testing the long term downtrend that had been in place from the early 2014 highs:

[caption id="attachment_68659" align="aligncenter" width="600"]DB 5 year chart from Bloomberg DB 5 year chart from Bloomberg[/caption]

GDX: despite the near universal euphoria for metal and mining stocks, gold and gold miners have been excluded from the party. The gold minder etf is down about 33% from its 52 week highs made in August

[caption id="attachment_68666" align="aligncenter" width="600"]GDX 1yr chart from Bloomberg GDX 1yr chart from Bloomberg[/caption]

One trader appeared to roll down a prior bullish view when the etf was $20.75, selling to close 20,000 Jan 35 calls at 76 cents and buying to open 10,000 Jan 28 calls for $1.64. Another trader paid 33 cents for 10,000 of the March 27/33.50 call spreads to open.

RSX: with the etf that tracks the MVIS Russia TR Index at new 52 week highs at $20.25, a trader bought to open 25,000 Feb 20 calls for 87 cents. These calls break-even at $20.87, up 3% from the trading level, which happens to correspond with the late 2014 breakdown level, and the 2015 high:

[caption id="attachment_68653" align="aligncenter" width="600"]RSX 3yr chart from Bloomberg RSX 3yr chart from Bloomberg[/caption]

Why the new found interest in the RSX, all you have to do is look at its correlation to the price of crude oil:

[caption id="attachment_68670" align="aligncenter" width="600"]3yr RSX vs Crude Oil from Bloommberg 3yr RSX vs Crude Oil from Bloomberg[/caption]

XOP: the S&P Oil & Gas etf saw a bearish roll, when the etf was $42.94 a trader sold to close two blocks of 15,000 Dec 40 puts at 16 and 19 cents, and bought to open 10,000 Jan 42 puts for 1.45. I suspect this is a roll of protection up and out as the etf has broken out to new 16 month highs:

[caption id="attachment_68652" align="aligncenter" width="600"]XOP 2yr chart from Bloomberg XOP 2yr chart from Bloomberg[/caption]