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J.C. Penney Options Volume Pops Ahead Of Earnings After The Close

Shares in J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (Ticker: JCP) are on the rise today, up 2.7% on the session at $9.60 ahead of the troubled retailer’s second-quarter earnings report after the closing bell. Options volume is above average prior to the release, with nearly 60,000 contracts in play on the name versus average daily volume of around 48,000 contracts. Trading in put options on JCP is outpacing that in calls as of the time of this writing, with the put/call ratio hovering near 1.4 at last check. The most traded put options on J.C. Penney so far today are the Aug 15 ’14 8.5 strike puts after roughly 20,000 of those contracts were sold at a premium of $0.15 per contract near the start of the trading session. Put sellers walk away with the full amount of premium at expiration this week as long as the options expire out-of-the-money with JCP shares trading above $8.50. If JCP earnings fail to impress and shares fall, however, put sellers risk having stock put to them at an effective price of $8.35 each if the options are exercised, or risk needing to potentially buy-to-close the put position at a higher premium to avoid taking delivery of the underlying stock prior to expiration. Finally, the Aug 22 ’14 9.5 strike puts are also active this morning with around 9,000 contracts in play, but most of these options appear to have been purchased at an average premium of $0.65 each.


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