by Option Review - October 3rd, 2011 2:45 pm
Today’s tickers: AMR, SBUX, FDX & LVS
AMR - AMR Corp. – Shares in AMR Corp. went down in flames today, falling nearly 40.0% this afternoon to $1.83, before trading in the stock was halted for a second time…and then a third, fourth, and fifth time at current count. Implied volatility on the stock shot up 136.39% to 194.42% in early-afternoon trade on fears the U.S. may be heading into recession and concern AMR Corp. may need to eventually consider bankruptcy protection. Investors eyeing the breathtaking drop in shares of the airline operator snapped up in- and out-of-the-money put options across multiple expiries. The November $2.0 strike put attracted the greatest volume, with more than 12,000 contracts having changed hands against open interest of 574 positions. It looks like most of the puts were purchased for an average premium of $0.21 apiece. Investors long the puts profit in the event that shares in AMR Corp. trade beneath the average breakeven price of $1.79 at expiration next month. Same-strike puts expiring in October drew a crowd, as well. Traders purchased the majority of the more than 9,700 puts exchanged at the Oct. $2.0 strike for an average premium of $0.14 each. Put premiums may appreciate should implied volatility edge higher and shares in the parent company of American Airlines fall further as the story continues to play out.
SBUX - Starbucks Corp. – Fresh prints in Starbucks Corp. put options this morning indicate one investor may profit handsomely should shares in the maker of Frappuccinos and Tazo teas decline substantially in the next seven weeks to November expiration. The spread may be an outright bearish bet on the specialty coffee retailer or a protective play on the stock ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report after the final bell on November 3.…
by Option Review - May 5th, 2011 4:11 pm
Today’s tickers: AMR, TBL, XME & RJET
AMR - AMR Corp. – Options traders are picking up call options on AMR Corp. after the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines reported increases in passenger traffic for the month of April. Shares in AMR are up 5.85% in early-afternoon trade to stand at $6.51. It looks like options strategists purchased more than 11,000 calls at the June $7.0 strike for an average premium of $0.25 apiece today. Traders profit if shares in the airline operator surge 11.4% over the current price of $6.51 to exceed the effective breakeven price of $7.25 by June expiration. Open interest patterns at the June $7.0 strike suggest traders started snapping up the calls as early as last Friday. Investors buying the calls ahead of today’s substantial move higher in the price of the underlying are being rewarded for booking bullish bets on the carrier in advance. Traders paid an average premium of $0.13 apiece for the calls during the past 6 days, while investors buying the contracts today paid more than two times that amount for the same options.
TBL - Timberland Co. – Shares in footwear and apparel maker Timberland Co. dropped faster than a felled tree following the weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings report released ahead of the opening bell this morning. The stock declined as much as 30.7% to touch down at an intraday low of $28.81 after the company missed estimates for the first time in seven quarters, posting net income of $0.35 a share, against the average analyst forecast of $0.59 a share. In the days leading up to the earnings announcement some options traders picked up what used to be fairly deep out-of-the-money put options. The massive drop in TBL shares today sent premium on the now deep in-the-money…
by Option Review - March 7th, 2011 4:43 pm
Today’s tickers: LO, HMA, AMR & USO
LO - Lorillard Inc. – A three-legged spread involving April contract put options on the cigarette manufacturer appears to be the work of an investor positioning for the price of the underlying stock to slip ahead of expiration. Shares in Lorillard, the maker of Newport cigarettes, the number one menthol brand, are currently up 0.33% to stand at $78.00 as of 12:50pm. The stock rallied as much as 5.7% one week ago to trade as high as $81.18 after the FDA said the risk of lung cancer for smokers of menthol cigarettes does not differ significantly from that of non-menthol cigarettes. But, last week’s sharp run up in LO’s shares was fairly short-lived given other portions of the FDA report that were not quite as positive for big tobacco. One trader expecting Lorillard’s shares to fall in the near-term seems to have established a bearish butterfly spread. The investor picked up 5,000 puts at the April $75 strike for a premium of $4.40 each, sold 10,000 puts at the April $65 strike for a premium of $1.50 apiece, and purchased 5,000 puts at the April $55 strike for a premium of $0.35 a-pop. Net premium paid to initiate the put ‘fly amounts to $1.75 per contract. The trader profits if LO’s shares decline 6.1% from the current price of $78.00 to breach the effective breakeven point at $73.25 by April expiration. Maximum potential profits of $8.25 per contract pad the investor’s wallet in the event that shares plummet 16.7% to settle at $65.00 at expiration. Options implied volatility on the cigarette-stock is up 3.4% at 54.92% just after 1:00pm in New York.
HMA - Health Management Associates, Inc. – Shares in the health care services provider are down 1.4% in early afternoon trade to…
by Option Review - January 14th, 2011 4:26 pm
Today’s tickers: BP, WFT, ITT, AMR, OLN, VRGY & NANO
BP - BP PLC – Options volume, options implied volatility and the value of shares in BP are on the rise ahead of a press conference in which the oil company will reportedly shed light on a possible deal with the Russian state-controlled oil company, Rosneft. Volume in options traded on BP is fast approaching 270,000 in the final 30 minutes of the session, with shares in the name having rallied as much as 4.1% to touch an intraday- and more than 6-month high of $49.50. The overall reading of options implied volatility on the stock continues to climb as well, currently standing 30.1% higher on the session at 30.16% as of 2:55pm. Investors populating BP options are trading call options on the stock more than 2.2 times for each single put option in action. Trading traffic in calls is heaviest at the January $50 strike where more than 18,600 contracts have changed hands. Investors were also seen buying higher-strike calls in the name, with 12,500 calls exchanged at the January $52.5 strike on open interest of just 3,834 lots. The majority of these call options traded on the ask for an average premium of $0.18 each. Bullishness spread to the higher January $55 strike where more than 4,500 calls were picked up at an average premium of $0.05 a-pop. Similar buying patterns were observed in February contract calls, albeit at lower volume. Meanwhile, put options expiring at the end of next week received a good deal of traffic as well. More than 26,500 puts changed hands at the January $47 strike, versus previously existing open interest of just 4,401 contracts. Investors appear to be buying the puts, perhaps to lock in gains, hedge a long position in the underlying shares, or to speculate on a near-term pullback in the price of the underlying. Upwards of 13,100 puts were bought and sold in roughly equal numbers at the closer-to-the-money January $48 strike ahead of the closing bell.…
by Option Review - November 4th, 2010 5:55 am
Today’s tickers: S, WFC, LAMR, MGM, AMR, CASY & AIG
S - Sprint Nextel Corp. – A sizeable long-term bullish transaction involving 30,000 option contracts on Sprint Nextel Corp. indicates one optimistic player expects shares in the telecommunications company to rebound ahead of February 2011 expiration. Since reporting third-quarter earnings the morning of October 27, 2010, Sprint’s shares have fallen as much as 20.4% from a high of $4.85 on October 26 to today’s lowest value of $3.86. It looks like the 20% correction in the price of the underlying stock has made conditions favorable enough for this contrarian strategist to establish a relatively cheap bullish stance on Sprint. The trader enacted a three-legged bullish position, selling a chunk of put options in order to partially finance the purchase of a debit call spread. Sprint’s shares have recovered off their intraday low of $3.86 and are currently down 2.2% to stance at $4.01 as of 2:55 pm. The investor sold 10,000 puts at the February 2011 $3.5 strike for a premium of $0.21 each, purchased 10,000 now in-the-money calls at the February 2011 $4.0 strike at a premium of $0.43 per contract, and sold 10,000 calls at the February 2011 $5.0 strike for a premium of $0.16 apiece. Net premium paid to initiate the three-legged spread amounts to $0.06 per contract. The investor responsible for the transaction makes money if Sprint’s shares rally 1.25% over the current price of $4.01 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $4.06 by expiration day in February. The bullish trader will walk away with maximum potential profits of $0.94 per contract if Sprint’s shares surge 24.7% and trade above $5.00 ahead of expiration next year. The short stance in Feb. 2011 $3.5 strike puts implies the investor sees shares trading above $3.50, but also indicates his willingness to have 1 million shares of the underlying put to him at that price if the puts should land in-the-money by expiration. Interestingly, Sprint is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings…
by Option Review - September 27th, 2010 4:07 pm
Today’s tickers: DRYS, PG, LCC, MHP, GDX, AMR, AMGN & GMCR
DRYS – DryShips, Inc. – A number of options players boarded the DryShips, Inc. bullish bandwagon this afternoon after the dry bulk carrier was upgraded to ‘equal-weight’ from ‘underweight’ and given a target share price of $5.50 at Morgan Stanley. DryShips’ shares jumped 9.95% in the second half of the trading day to touch an intraday high of $4.53. In- and out-of-the-money call options on the shipping firm were in high demand, particularly in the October and November contracts. Traders scooped up some 2,300 in-the-money calls at the October $4.0 strike for an average premium of $0.45 each. Optimists also picked up roughly 6,700 calls at the higher October $5.0 strike by shelling out an average premium of $0.05 apiece. DRYS’ shares would need to rally another 11.5% over today’s high of $4.53 in order for October $5.0 strike call buyers to make money above the average breakeven point at $5.05 by October expiration. Bulls looked to the November $5.0 strike to take ownership of some 4,000 call options at an average premium of $0.14 a-pop. Investors long the calls are prepared to profit should the price of the underlying stock increase another 13.5% in the next couple months to trade above $5.14 by November expiration. Options implied volatility on DryShips surged 10.9% to 48.14% by 3:40 pm ET.
PG – Procter & Gamble Co. – Shares of the consumer goods manufacturer edged 0.60% lower this afternoon to trade at $61.26 with 30 minutes remaining in the trading session. One pessimistic player appears to be building up downside protection on the stock through expiration in January 2012. The investor initiated a ratio put spread, buying 2,000 puts at the January 2012 $60 strike for a premium of $6.00 each, and selling 4,000 puts at the lower January 2012 $45 strike at a premium of $1.80 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $2.40 per contract. Thus, the investor starts to make money – or realize downside protection on a long position in shares – if the price of the underlying stock falls 6.00% to slip beneath the effective breakeven price of $57.60 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $12.60 per contract are available to the trader, but require PG’s shares to collapse down to $45.00. Options implied volatility on PG is up 7.3% at 14.78% as…
by Option Review - September 21st, 2010 4:04 pm
Today’s tickers: XHB, DHI, NVDA, RL, BSX, GCI, XRT & AMR
XHB – SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF – Long-term bullish trading in call options on the homebuilders sector jumped today on news housing starts in the U.S. rebounded in August. Shares of the XHB, an exchange-traded fund designed to track the performance of the S&P Homebuilders Select Industry Index, increased as much as 1.6% this afternoon to touch an intraday high of $15.83 as of 2:40 pm ET. One bullish trader expecting the price of the underlying fund to appreciate substantially over the next 16 months scooped up approximately 50,000 calls at the January 2012 $16 strike for an average premium of $2.56 apiece. The call options position the investor to accrue profits should shares surge 17.25% over today’s high of $15.83 to surpass the effective breakeven price of $18.56 by expiration day. Shares last traded above $18.56 back on May 13, 2010.
DHI – D.R. Horton, Inc. – In contrast to the outright bullish trading observed in XHB LEAPs, homebuilding company, D.R. Horton, received nearer-term bearish bets that shares are set to decline ahead of expiration in January 2011. DHI’s shares rallied as much as 2.6% on the positive new housing starts data to secure an intraday high of $11.34 this morning. But, by midday, a put option feeding frenzy initiated by traders who appear to expect shares to reverse course had already gained momentum. It looks like traders bought roughly 30,000 puts at the January 2011 $10 strike at an average premium of $0.73 a-pop. Put buyers are poised to profit should shares of the underlying stock plummet 18.25% from today’s high of $11.34 to slip beneath the average breakeven point to the downside at $9.27 by January 2011 expiration.
NVDA – NVIDIA Corp. – Shares of the manufacturer of chips used in computer graphics cards jumped 7.1% this afternoon to reach an intraday high of $11.47 as of 2:50 pm ET after analysts with Pacific Crest Securities said NVDA’s shares are likely to rally up to $13.00 as inventory declines and demand stabilizes. Investors hoping to see the bullish momentum continue purchased some 6,150 calls at the October $12 strike for an average premium of $0.32 per contract. Call buyers make money if the price of the underlying stock increases another 8.65% over today’s high of $11.34 to trade above the average breakeven point on the calls…
by Option Review - August 30th, 2010 4:50 pm
Today’s tickers: DGIT, LTD, EWJ, ETN, AKS, ACLI & AMR
DGIT – DG FastChannel, Inc. – The provider of digital technology services that facilitate electronic delivery of advertisements, syndicated programs and video news releases to various media outlets suffered a 38.5% decline in the value of its shares to an intraday- and new 52-week low of $15.10 today. DGIT’s shares hemorrhaged after the firm revealed that third-quarter revenue will not exceed $53 million, which is substantially less than the average analyst forecast of $61.5 million in sales for the quarter. Investors expecting DG FastChannel’s shares to remain bruised and battered through September expiration sold 1,300 calls at the September $17.5 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.96 apiece. Call sellers keep the premium received on the transaction as long as DGIT’s shares fail to rally above $17.50 by expiration next month. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell of November 4, 2010. In contrast to the near-term bearish trading on the stock today was a covered call enacted in the March 2011 contract by an investor who appears to be positioning for a lengthy recovery period. It looks like the investor sold 2,000 calls at the March 2011 $17.5 strike for premium of $3.30 per contract and purchased 200,000 shares of the underlying stock at $16.60 apiece. The sale of the call options effective reduces the price paid per share to $13.30 each. Thus, the investor is prepared to walk away with maximum gains of 31.6% on the underlying position as long as the calls land in-the-money and the shares are called from him at $17.50 at that time.
LTD – Limited Brands, Inc. – Investors picked up put options on the specialty retailer of women’s apparel, beauty and personal care products, and accessories right out of the gate this morning with the price of the underlying stock slipping as much as 3.00% to an intraday low of $24.20. Limited Brands’ put options are in demand ahead of the firm’s August sales report on Thursday morning, and after July reports showed that personal income rose less than anticipated. Bears expecting LTD’s shares to continue to decline ahead of September expiration purchased approximately 1,900 in-the-money puts at the September $25 strike for an average premium of $1.11 apiece. Put buyers are poised to profit – or realize downside protection should they hold long positions…
by Phil Davis - July 13th, 2010 8:19 am
Wheeeee, this is fun!
It’s only been a week since I called for "Turnaround Tuesday" and asked the question "Will CNBC Apologize to America" for their ridiculous, sickening parade of negativity that chased their poor viewers out of the market (now 600 points ago) by completely misrepresenting the economic outlook in order to protect the TERRIBLE advice given by Jim Cramer, the Fast Money Crew, their sponsors etc. etc. – it was all one national frenzy of media negativity designed to shove retail investors entirely out of the market while the cognoscenti went shopping.
It’s not just CNBC, of course, it’s a problem with the whole MSM but I ranted about corporate (top 0.01%) control of the media last week so let’s move on as we wave bye-bye to all the beautiful sheeple who were kind enough to sell us their stocks at the bottom, despite my warnings. Our 500% upside plays are now well on their way to making 500% for us and our "9 Fabulous Dow Plays Plus a Chip Shot" are also looking good already. Even the trade ideas I mentioned right in last Tuesday’s post are well on track as I said last week:
On Friday, I had said to Members right at 9:38, in the Morning Alert: "If we run up, then it will be prudent to get more neutral into the weekend but if we stay down and hold our levels, then saying a little bullish will be fine. Out of short-term short trades if you haven’t already. Keep in mind we have some great 500% upside plays you can still grab here if you think you are too short."
The latter was a reference to our 500% upside plays. We also went with EEM July $38 calls at .99, and a QLD $50/53 bull call spread for $1.30 (selling puts as well for more profits) as well as long plays on RIMM, AA, HOV, VLO and TASR. My optimism was based on the considered TA analysis I shared with Members at 2:39:
After completing last month’s "Omega III" market pattern on the Trade Bots, it’s now time to spring the bear trap and run the "Apha II" into options expiration on July 16th. Maybe there will be as little logic to the rise as there was to the fall – who really cares – it’s just our jobs to try to
by Option Review - May 26th, 2010 4:24 pm
Today’s tickers: C, NOK, XLF, ETFC, TXT, GE, JPM, JCG, AMR, PRU & CAKE
C – Citigroup, Inc. – A large-volume ratio call spread enacted on Citigroup during the first half of the trading session suggests one big player is positioning for continued share price appreciation through July expiration. Citigroup’s shares gained as much as 6.6% earlier in the session to reach an intraday high of $4.03, but are currently up a more modest 2.65% on the day at $3.88 as of 3:55 pm (ET). The bullish investor paid a net premium of $0.19 per contract to purchase roughly 66,000 calls at the July $4.0 strike, and sell about 132,000 calls at the higher July $5.0 strike price. The spread positions the trader to make money above the breakeven price of $4.19 through July expiration. Maximum potential profits of $0.81 per contract pad the investor’s wallet if Citi’s shares jump 28.9% over the current price of $3.88 to settle at $5.00 at expiration.
NOK – Nokia Corp. – Options traders populating Nokia Corp. today sold in- and out-of-the-money calls on the world’s largest maker of mobile phones with shares of the underlying stock trading 2.35% lower to $9.99 with 40 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell. Finland-based Nokia retained its ranking as one of the two greenest major electronics makers at Greenpeace International along with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Call sellers roamed across several expiries on the mobile phone maker, spreading pessimistic sentiment along the way. Near-term bears doubting Nokia’s shares will rebound any time soon shed 6,700 calls at the June $10 strike to take in an average premium of $0.50 per contract. Approximately 8,300 calls were sold at the July $10 strike price for an average premium of $0.70 apiece. Investors selling the contracts keep the premium received as long as Nokia’s shares trade below $10.00 through expiration in June/July. Uber-pessimistic traders shed 3,700 in-the-money call options at the October $9.0 strike to take in an average premium of $1.67 per contract. Nokia’s shares must fall another 9.90% from the current price of $9.99 to breach the $9.00-level. In-the-money call sellers keep the premium if Nokia’s share price does not exceed $9.00 at expiration. Finally, bearish investors sold 5,600 calls at the October $10 strike for an average premium of $1.10 each, 4,800 calls at the October $11 strike for an average premium of $0.64 a-pop,…