by Option Review - September 9th, 2013 8:48 pm
by Option Review - April 15th, 2013 3:21 pm
Today’s tickers: LULU, YHOO & YNDX
by Option Review - November 16th, 2012 3:31 pm
Today’s tickers: GME, WMT & LULU
XLF - Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – Heavy volume in February expiry call options on the XLF this morning may be the work of one or more traders positioning for shares in the financials ETF to get back to highs last seen in February 2011. The price of the underlying fund in the early going slipped 0.85% on Friday to a session and 11-week low of $15.06 before positive comments from Congressional leaders in Washington sparked a strong midday rally in equities. Shares in the XLF reversed earlier losses and now trades up 0.40% on the session at $15.24 as of 12:50 p.m. in New York. Traders exchanged nearly 100,000 call options at the Feb. $17 strike by 12:45 p.m. ET versus previously existing open interest of just 4,391 contracts. It looks like the bulk of the volume was purchased at a premium of $0.10 per contract, setting call buyers up to profit at expiration should XLF shares rally 12% during the next few months to top the effective breakeven price of $17.10. Upside call buyers are perhaps looking for financial stocks to move higher in the event that positive talk at the White House this afternoon translates into positive action from lawmakers in the months ahead.
V - Visa, Inc. – Stocks bounced off morning lows at midday after Congressional leaders meeting with President Obama to tackle the impending fiscal cliff made conciliatory and positive comments to members of the press at the White House today. Traders buying weekly calls on Visa, Inc. earlier in the trading session are seeing the value of their positions increase sharply intraday as the stock moves higher with the market. Shares in Visa are up 2.3% at present to stand at $143.21 as of 12:15 p.m. ET. Upside call buyers looked to the weekly Nov. 23 ’12 expiry options in morning trading, picking up a couple hundred of the $140 strike calls at an…
by Option Review - November 15th, 2012 1:59 pm
Today’s tickers: GME, WMT & LULU
GME - GameStop Corp. – Shares in video-game retailer, GameStop Corp., increased as much as 6% this morning after the company forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $2.07 to $2.27 a share and posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on Thursday. Reports the company sold more than 1 million copies of Call of Duty®: Black Ops II worldwide yesterday during a midnight launch of Activision-Blizzard, Inc.’s newest addition to their popular Call of Duty® franchise, also lifted shares in the name today. A down-day for U.S. equities took some of the wind out of GME’s sails by midday, however, with the stock currently up 2% on the session at $23.96 as of 12:35 p.m. in New York. A number of options traders appear to be selling December expiry puts on the stock, a strategy that pays off if the price of the underlying holds onto recent gains through year end. At-the-money Dec. $24 strike puts changed hands roughly 550 times versus previously existing open interest of 327 contracts, and it appears the volume was sold for a premium of $1.33 apiece. Put sellers keep the full amount of premium as long as shares in GameStop Corp. exceed $24.00 at expiration next month. Similarly, many of the 2,300 put options in play at the Dec. $23 strike this morning were sold by traders pocketing an average premium of $0.80 per contract. Heavier volume in excess of 5,000 puts changed hands at both the Dec. $20 and $22 strikes in the early going. Much of the volume traded to the middle of the market at premiums of $0.23 and $0.58 each, respectively.
WMT - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – The world’s largest retailer forecast fourth-quarter profit and sales below average analyst estimates during the company’s third-quarter earnings report ahead of the open this morning, pulling stock indexes lower and sending the price of its own shares down nearly 5% to $67.85. Shares…
by Option Review - July 30th, 2012 1:52 pm
Today’s tickers: LVS, LULU & VCLK
LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Weekly options on Las Vegas Sands Corp. are active this morning ahead of the release of July Macau gaming revenue data on Wednesday. Shares in the casino resort operator are off their highs of the session, but remain in positive territory, up 1% at $37.15 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York. Traders dabbling in LVS weeklies appear to be positioning for shares to extend gains in the near term. The most active contracts, the Aug. 03 ’12 $39 strike calls, traded upwards of 3,100 times in the first half of the session versus open interest of 636 positions. It looks like strategists purchased most of the options for an average premium of $0.36 apiece, thus positioning for a 6%-plus upside move in the share price by expiration. The Aug. 03 ’12 $40 strike call also saw traders step in to purchase around 700 contracts at an average premium of $0.16 each. Shares in LVS are down roughly 40% off the April 12th four-year high of $62.09, having fallen hard and fast in the most recent three month period to touch down at its lowest in nearly two years last week.
LULU - Lululemon Athletica, Inc. – The single-largest transaction in Lululemon options today may be a pre-earnings bet that shares in the athletic apparel retailer could rebound somewhat following the company’s second-quarter report on September 10th. Shares in the name are down more than 3% this morning to stand at $59.56 and have declined more than 25% off the May 3rd all-time high of $81.09. It looks like one strategist initiated a one-by-two ratio call spread to position for limited gains in the price of the underlying through September expiration. The trader likely purchased 3,000 calls at the Sept. $70 strike for a premium of $1.82 each and sold 6,000 calls up at the Sept. $77.5 strike at a premium of…
by Option Review - June 7th, 2012 3:50 pm
Today’s tickers: XHB, LULU & GDX
XHB - SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF – Heavy call buying in the front month calls on the Homebuilders ETF this morning may mean some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains through expiration next week. Shares in the XHB, an ETF comprised of positions in homebuilding-related stocks including Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and Toll Brothers, are up 1.25% at $20.16 this afternoon. The Jun. $21 strike call saw the most action this morning, with more than 30,000 contracts changing hands against open interest of 20,554 positions. The single-largest trade, a block of around 21,440 call options, appears to have been purchased outright at a premium of $0.18 each. The call buyer stands ready to profit should shares in the XHB move up another 5.0% to top the effective breakeven price of $21.18 by June expiration.
LULU - Lululemon Athletica, Inc. – Props to the buyer of a large put spread on athletic apparel retailer, Lululemon Athletica, Inc., on Wednesday prior to the Canadian company’s second-quarter earnings report. The stock is down 9.5% this afternoon at $63.40 after Lululemon’s full-year earnings and sales forecasts fell short of analyst estimates. A 10,000-lot Jun. $60/$67.5 put spread, which was untied to stock but could be a hedge to insulate the value of an existing long position in LULU shares, cost a net premium of $1.30 per contract yesterday. As of 12:45 p.m. ET today, the same $60/$67.5 put spread costs a net premium of $3.86 per contract to purchase, a near 200.0% increase in the sticker price on the strategy overnight. Put volume hovering around 2,000 lots at each strike this afternoon indicates the position is still at least partially intact. Downside protection provided by the put play maxes out at $60.00 should shares in LULU continue to pull back ahead of June expiration.…
by Option Review - June 6th, 2012 2:05 pm
Today’s tickers: LULU, MFRM & SU
LULU - Lululemon Athletica, Inc. – Options on the athletic apparel retailer are changing hands at a feverish pace today ahead of Lululemon’s first-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday morning. Shares in the provider of high-end yoga pants and stylish gym accessories are off their intraday peak, but continue to trade 1.5% higher on the session at $71.76 as of 1:00 p.m. in New York. Roughly half of the 43,000 contracts in play on LULU in the first half of the session are part of a large spread in the June expiry. One strategist established a bear put spread ahead of the earnings report, perhaps to protect a long position in the underlying shares against adverse moves in the price of the underlying. Most of the 10,000 lot June $60/$67.5 put spread traded on the Amex and was purchased for a premium of $1.30 per contract. The spread establishes downside protection beneath a breakeven share price of $66.20 and extends down to $60.00. Shares in LULU would need to plunge 16.4% after earnings in order for the stock breach the $60.00 level. Lululemon’s shares are up nearly 50.0% year-to-date and last traded below $60.00 back on January 20, 2012.
MFRM - Mattress Firm, Inc. – Bullish bets in Mattress Firm options cropped up today despite the near 25.0% post-earnings plunge in shares of the mattress retailer to an intraday low of $26.70. Shares in Mattress Firm dropped on lower-than-anticipated first-quarter revenue and a reduced sales forecast for the second quarter, but some traders appear to be positioning for MFRM’s shares to recoup losses during the second half of the year. Near-term bulls picked up around 120 calls at the June $30 strike for an average premium of $1.11 apiece, while longer-dated Oct. $30 strike calls were purchased some 150 times at an average premium of $3.38 each. Call buyers in the front month stand ready…
by Option Review - May 3rd, 2012 3:18 pm
Today’s tickers: DJX, LNKD & LULU
DJX - 1/100 of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – A massive vega trade initiated in the DJX today sent off ripples across major indices and single-stock names as market makers scrambled to hedge their sales of volatility that occurred due to the trade. The purchase of 30,000 Dec. 2014 $135 calls on the DJX, delta-hedged by a June 2014 $132 collar, is a pure volatility play that makes money if markets grow increasingly choppy going forward. Signs Europe’s crises may be coming to the fore once again could play a role in rising market volatility, which U.S. equities have largely been able to cast aside during the first quarter given positive domestic economic data and strong corporate earnings. The VIX has remained below 25 all year, passing much of its time just above or below the 17-level. For an investor anticipating rough seas up ahead, multi-year lows for the fear index provide an opportunity to lock in vega while it’s relatively cheap rather than wait for Nostradamus’ Armageddon, or more likely, continued turmoil across the pond, to blow volatility through the roof.
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in the social networking site for professionals are up 0.25% this afternoon to stand at $106.65 ahead of the Company’s first-quarter earnings report after the final bell today. Trading traffic in LinkedIn weekly calls suggests some traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains following the report. Notable bullish interest is building in the May 04 ’12 $115 strike options where more than 2,000 calls changed hands against open interest of 878 contracts by 12:15 pm in New York. It looks like most of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $3.07 apiece, thus positioning traders to profit…
by Option Review - March 21st, 2012 1:27 pm
Today’s tickers: LULU, ARIA & LNKD
LULU - Lululemon Athletic, Inc. – Lululemon’s shares are in rally-mode today, ahead of the athletic apparel retailer’s fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday morning. The stock trades higher by 1.45% to stand at $73.94 in early-afternoon trade, and it looks like some traders are using LULU options to taking pre-earnings report positions that benefit from further upside moves in the price of the underlying. One strategist appears to have initiated a bullish butterfly spread, buying around 3,000 calls at the April $75 and $85 strikes, and selling 6,000 calls at the April $80 strike, all for a net premium outlay of $0.92 per contract. The parameters of the spread indicate potential losses, and potential gains, are limited; maximum possible losses are capped at $0.92 per contract. The trader may profit at expiration in the event that Lululemon’s shares rally 2.7% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $75.92, with maximum possible profits of $4.08 per contract available given an 8.2% move higher in the shares to $80.00. It looks like the butterfly spread is not the only bullish strategy calling for LULU’s shares to head higher. Last Friday, a large block of 12,551 April $80 strike calls were purchased for a premium of $1.60 each. While both transactions look for Lululemon’s shares to rally to fresh record highs, one earns maximum possible gains if shares settle at $80.00, while the other looks for shares to rally above $81.60 by expiration next month. More than 33,500 option contracts have changed hands on LULU just before 12:30 p.m. in New York.
ARIA - ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Options on biotechnology company, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, are more active than usual today following Tuesday’s reported 13-to-1 ruling by the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee against the use ridaforolimus. The…
by Option Review - March 16th, 2012 1:53 pm
Today’s tickers: LULU, ELN & POT
LULU - Lululemon Athletica, Inc. – Shares in the maker of high-end athletic apparel are taking a breather today, trading down 1.95% at $72.79 as of 12:30 p.m. in New York after closing at a record-high of $74.25 on Thursday. A large block of LULU call options purchased in the first 30 minutes of the session suggests at least one strategist may be positioning for the price of the underlying to stretch to new heights in the near term. The Company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell next Thursday. Options volume on Lululemon is heaviest at the April $80 strike, where more than 13,700 contracts changed hands against open interest of 1,291 positions. The single largest print, a block of 12,551 calls, appears to have been purchased for a premium of $1.60 per contract. The trader responsible for the transaction may be taking an outright bullish position on the high-flying apparel retailer, although, it’s possible the strategist is short the stock and buying the calls as a hedge. If the trader is making a purely bullish bet on LULU ahead of earnings, profits are available on the long calls in the event that the price of the underlying jumps 12.1% to top the effective breakeven price of $81.60 by expiration next month. Meanwhile, a put spread initiated in the weekly options indicates another trader is prepared for the shares to decline post earnings. It looks like a roughly 1,150-lot Mar. ’23 $65/$70 put spread was purchased at a net premium of $1.15 per contract, thus yielding profits or downside protection should shares dip down to the $70.00-level during the next five trading sessions.
ELN - Elan Corp. PLC – Shares in the Dublin, Ireland-based biotechnology Company are up…