by Option Review - October 14th, 2011 1:58 pm
Today’s tickers: JNPR, WFT, SCHW & XLF
JNPR - Juniper Networks, Inc. – Shares in the provider of high-performance network infrastructure rallied as much as 5.2% at the start of the session to a one-month high of $21.50. The stock gained nearly 30.0% off its October 4 low of $16.67, but even so continues to trade at a more than 50.0% discount to its March 8 year-to-date high of $45.01. Juniper’s morning rally has lost some steam this afternoon, with the stock trading higher by 1.6% at $20.75 as of 12:25 pm EDT.
The company releases third-quarter earnings after the final bell on Tuesday, and one doubting Thomas is betting the report will do little to rocket-launch the shares to the upside. It looks like the investor sold a block of 13,000 calls at the Oct. $24 strike to pocket premium of $0.13 per contract. The trader keeps the full amount of premium as long as JNPR’s shares fail to rally above $24.00 at expiration next week. The transaction was not tied to stock, but the investor could already hold a large long position in the underlying. If no stock is held, potential losses the investor may ultimately be forced to swallow are unlimited. But, shares in JNPR would need to surge 16.3% over the current price of $20.75 in order for the trader to start losing money above the effective breakeven share price of $24.13 at October expiration. Shares in Juniper Networks have languished beneath $24.00 since July 28.
WFT - Weatherford International Ltd. – The energy sector is up big and is presently outpacing rallies…
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 phil - July 20th, 2010 8:13 am
Wheeeee – this is fun!
Well, it’s fun when you have disaster hedges anyway. I already sent out an Alert to Members this morning reminding them that there’s no point in having disaster hedges if you don’t use that money to buy on the dips, though. Yesterday we added downside, leveraged plays on SDS (2) and DXD and our focus short was on NFLX (last week it was MA, and that went very well) along with our usual DIA Mattress play. That shifted us a bit negative as we failed to hold our watch levels and now we are sadly looking all the way down to those low closes of: Dow 9,686, S&P 1,022, Nasdaq 2,081, NYSE 6,434, Russell 590, SOX 332 and Transports 1,905 as a possible re-test if things get really ugly.
On July 3rd I laid out "5 Plays that Make 500% if the Market Falls" and, fortunately, we didn’t need them as we took off on Monday but they are still good plays and a little cheaper now than they were when we last tested our bottoms. If you are not well-protected – I strongly suggest you read this post and at least be ready to initiate a hedge if we can’t turn this morning around. As with most day’s lately – it’s all about copper and the $3 line…
That being said, I do think we will turn this morning around eventually - because IBM is down $7 and the Dow moves about 8 points per $1 of component value so that’s hitting the Dow for 56 points all by itself. IBM’s earnings were great but revs missed, in large part due to currency issues. BRIC revenues were up 22% for the company, despite the crap exchange rate.
TXN got whacked too on their report that profits nearly tripled on a 42% jump in revenues (not kidding). "Demand has continued very solid and very broad-based," said Ron Slaymaker, the company’s vice president of investor relations.
Mr. Slaymaker said the biggest positive surprise in the period was stronger demand from companies that buy industrial equipment, which have rebounded much slower than consumers from the recession. One notable area of weakness, he added, was sales of chips used in cellphones. TI has long been a major supplier to handset-maker Nokia Corp., which in June lowered its second-quarter forecast.
The company reported net income for the period ended
by Option Review - June 30th, 2010 4:40 pm
Today’s tickers: MGM, WFT, HD, OC, APC, TLB & RBCN
MGM – MGM Resorts International, Inc. – The casino resort operator’s shares rebounded 0.60% during afternoon trading to arrive at $10.11 by 1:50 pm (ET). MGM’s shares fell as much as 13.85% from Monday’s opening price of $11.56 to Tuesday’s intraday low of $9.96. Optimistic options investors expecting the casino operator’s shares to continue to rebound ahead of July expiration day purchased debit call spreads. Traders picked up approximately 5,000 calls at the July $11 strike for an average premium of $0.28 apiece, and sold about the same number of calls at the higher July $12 strike for an average premium of $0.08 each. Net premium paid for the spreads amounts to an average of $0.20 per contract. Investors positioning for a rally are positioned to make money if MGM’s shares jump 10.8% to trade above the average breakeven price of $11.20 by expiration next month. Shares of the underlying stock must surge 18.7% and exceed $12.00 in order for call spreader to walk away with maximum potential profits of $0.80 per contract by July expiration.
WFT – Weatherford International Ltd. – Shares of the provider of equipment and services used for the drilling, completion and production of oil and natural gas wells are up 1.35% to stand at $13.48 as of 2:05 pm (ET). WFT popped up on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner in afternoon trading due to bullish activity in the August contract. It looks like investor expecting Weatherford’s shares to continue to appreciate over the next couple of months are engaging in plain-vanilla call buying on the stock. Traders picked up roughly 4,200 in-the-money calls at the August $13 strike for an average premium of $1.48 apiece. Investors long the calls are prepared to profit should shares of the underlying stock rally another 7.4% over the current price to surpass the average breakeven point to the upside at $14.48 by August expiration. Bullish sentiment spread to the higher August $15 strike where investors paid an average premium of $0.56 per contract to take ownership of 3,400 call options. Optimistic individuals long the higher strike calls make money if WFT’s shares surge more than 15.4% to exceed the effective breakeven price of $15.56 by expiration day in August.
HD – Home Depot, Inc. – The home improvement supplies retailer attracted bearish options strategists throughout the…
by phil - January 21st, 2010 5:13 pm
Today’s tickers: GS, WFT, FITB, NITE, USU, KFT, UNP, EBAY, SBUX & HOTT
GS – Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. – Near-term bears and bulls crossed paths in the February contract on global investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs Group, today. The past 48 hours have stirred up a plethora of concerning news for investors, most recently, President Obama’s call to limit the size and trading activity of large financial institutions, which pummeled the financial sector like a ton of bricks, dragging equities down across the board. Additionally, markets are still smarting from China’s reining in of monetary policy, which sent the US dollar up over the past couple of days. The VIX jumped yesterday and continues higher during the current session. The fear-gauge increased 19.67% today to an intraday high of 21.90 countering the declines in the S&P 500. Investors watched Goldman’s shares fall 4% to $161.07 this afternoon even though the firm earned $8.20 per share in the fourth-quarter, which blew right past average estimates of $5.19 a share. Frenzied options trading exploded on the financial institution with roughly 358,000 contracts exchanged on the stock by 2:50 pm (EDT). Bearish bets were plentiful, although there is also evidence of contrarian bullish plays, as well. Put options were purchased as low as the February $145 strike where 3,500 contracts were purchased for an average premium of $1.46 per contract. Shares are still 12.20% greater at the current level than the breakeven price on the puts at $143.54. The heaviest put trading occurred at the nearest to-the-money February $160 strike where more than 23,000 contracts changed hands. At least 8,100 of the contracts were purchased for $4.12 per contract. Contrarian players sold 2,300 puts at the February $135 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.93 each. Put sellers retain the full premium as long as Goldman’s shares trade above $135.00 through expiration next month. Some investors are looking right through the negative news and buying call options. Most notable is the 7,200 calls purchased at the February $165 strike for an average premium of $4.52 each. The stock must rebound back to $169.52 in order for call buyers to breakeven on their purchases. Other traders threw in the towel at the higher February $170 strike by selling at least 8,900 calls to receive an average premium of $3.02 per contract. Two-way trading traffic in GS options and investor uncertainty has lifted…
by Option Review - January 12th, 2010 4:11 pm
Today’s tickers: IYR, PFE, FXI, WFT, UUP, JPM, GLD, ERTS, STJ & PVH
IYR – iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index ETF – Bullish options activity on the IYR flies in the face of bearish momentum across equities in the broader market today. The investor responsible for the optimistic positioning in the February contract appears little concerned with the current 2% decline in the value per IYR share today to $45.31. It looks like the trader sold a put credit spread in order to offset the cost of buying out-of-the-money call options. The three-legged combination involved the sale of 10,000 puts at the February $45 strike for a premium of $1.56 each, spread against the purchase of 10,000 puts at the lower February $42 strike for $0.65 apiece. The net credit of $0.91 per contract received on the credit spread is more than enough to cover the cost of the 10,000 calls purchased at the February $48 strike for $0.55 each. After establishing all three legs of the spread, the trader pockets $0.36 per contract. The investor keeps the full $0.36 only if IYR’s shares trade above $45.00 through expiration next month. Additional profits amass only if shares of the fund rally 6% from the current price to surpass $48.00. We note that the investor responsible for the trade may suffer maximum potential losses of $2.64 per contract if the price of the underlying slips to $42.00 by expiration day.
PFE – Pfizer, Inc. – A bullish risk reversal on the global pharmaceutical company today suggests shares may rally to $20.00 by expiration in June. Pfizer’s shares withstood downward market pressure for the majority of the trading session, and even climbed slightly higher in earlier trading, but edged 0.75% lower to $18.70 by 2:15 pm (EDT). The reversal play involved the sale of 10,000 in-the-money put options at the June $20 strike for a premium of $2.07 apiece, spread against the purchase of 10,000 out-of-the-money call options at the same strike for $0.70 in premium. The investor receives a net credit of $1.37 per contract, which he keeps if PFE’s shares rally up to $20.00 by expiration. The short sale of put options implies the trader is willing to have shares put to him at an effective price of $18.63 each. However, the investor would optimally like to see shares rally at least 7% over the current price to…
by Option Review - August 12th, 2009 5:23 pm
Today’s tickers: GNW, ERTS, RCL, WFT, PETM, BBY, AKAM, KR, & FITB
GNW – Bearish option trades belie the more than 6% rally in shares of the financial security company to $8.59 during today’s trading session. It appears that one investor has spread the sale of 10,000 calls at the December 10 strike price for 1.00 apiece against the purchase of 10,000 puts at the September 7.5 strike for about 56 cents each. The bearish reversal play occurred in the midst of plain-vanilla put purchasing at the September 7.5 strike, where approximately 8,000 puts were picked up for 56 cents per contract. Perhaps investors enacting such trades are bracing for a pullback in the price of GNW by expiration in September. The long puts will begin to generate profits if the stock slips 19% lower through the breakeven point at $6.94. The investor responsible for the bearish reversal has received a net credit of 44 cents and may add to his profits if the September 7.5 strike puts land in-the-money by expiration. The short call position in the December contract leaves the investor vulnerable to potentially unlimited losses above the effective breakeven point at $10.56, unless of course the trader holds a long position in the underlying. If the trader owns the stock, then he may be near-term bearish and long-term bullish. The short call position would serve the same purpose as a covered call. If GNW trades above $10.00 by expiration, the investor may shed the position in the underlying and walk away with profits earned on the appreciation in the value of the stock. – Genworth Financial, Inc.
ERTS– Bullish reversals on the developer of video game software caught our attention today amid a rally of nearly 4% on the stock to $21.11. Investors were seen shedding puts in order to finance the purchase of out-of-the-money calls in the December contract. Approximately 2,500 puts were sold at the December 16 strike for 43 cents each, while another 2,500 puts were surrendered at the higher December 17 strike for 62 cents apiece. Traders utilized premium enjoyed on the sale of puts to get long of 5,000 calls at the December 25 strike price for an average premium of 93 cents. The average net cost of purchasing the calls amounts to about 40 cents per contract. A rally in ERTS of 20% will allow call-holders to begin to amass…
by Option Review - July 6th, 2009 4:07 pm
Today’s tickers: WFT, XLE, MS, AET, IYR, SCHW, UNG, & AMTD
WFT – The slight 1.5% decline in shares to $18.02 today has not deterred some option traders from making bullish plays on the oil and equipment services firm. The August 17.5 strike price had 9,200 puts sold short for an average premium of 1.50 apiece. The investor(s) who sold the puts will retain the full premium as long as shares remain higher than $17.50 by expiration next month. Traders appear to expect shares of WFT to remain high enough such that the puts remain out-of-the-money by expiration. However, such individuals must be prepared to have shares of the underlying put to them at an effective price of $16.00 in the event that the puts land in-the-money and are exercised. Additional bullishness on the stock appeared in the November contract where it looks as though one trader initiated a covered call strategy. The sale of 1,600 calls at the November 23 strike price yielded a premium of 95 cents each. Perhaps the investor purchased shares at an effective price of $17.07 and simultaneously sold the call options to establish a potential exit strategy. If the November 23 calls land in-the-money by expiration the investor will have the shares called away from him. At that point he will have attained profits of about 35% on the accretion in market value of WFT. – Weatherford International Limited
XLE – A bullish reversal in the energy ETF caught our eye amid a more than 2% decline in the price of the fund to $45.20 today. It appears that one investor chose to sell 1,700 puts at the December 42 strike price for a rich premium of 3.25 apiece. The put options were then spread against the purchase of 1,700 calls at the December 53 strike price for 1.52 each. The net credit enjoyed on the reversal strategy amounts to 1.73. The trader can augment his gains if the price of the XLE rises approximately 17% through the exercise price of $53.00 by expiration at the conclusion of 2009. Otherwise, he will retain the full credit received today as long as the puts options at the December 42 strike price remain out-of-the-money by expiration. – Energy Select Sector SPDR