Posts Tagged ‘EXPD’

Bulls Head For Developed Markets ETF

Today’s tickers: EFA, HAL, VIAB, IR, EXPD, GE, CCL, V, & XRX

EFA – The exchange-traded fund representing stocks from Europe, Australasia, and the Far East attracted more than passing glances by bullish option traders today. The fund is currently higher by 1.5% to stand at $44.75. One optimistic individual appears to have sold 10,000 calls at the near-term July 46 strike price for 12 cents apiece in order to purchase 10,000 calls at the August 48 strike for 40 cents each. Rolling up to a higher strike cost the investor a net 28 cents per contract. Shares of EFA must rally through the breakeven point at $48.28 before the trader can reel in profits on the transaction. Bullish sentiment spread to the September contract where it appears that one trader initiated a covered call. The investor looks to have bought shares of the fund and concurrently shed 2,000 calls at the September 49 strike price for 58 cents per contract. The premium received for writing the calls reduced the price of getting long the stock to about $44.09 (assuming shares were trading at $44.67 at the time of execution). The short call position provides an effective exit strategy for the investor who will have shares of the fund called away from him in the event that the September 49 calls land in-the-money by expiration. Should this occur, the trader will have enjoyed gains of 11% on the rise in the price of the ETF. – iShares MSCI EAFE Index ETF

HAL – The oil and gas company jumped onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after a large chunk of puts were purchased in the January 2010 contract. Shares of the Houston, Texas-based firm are higher by 2% today to $19.29. Approximately 35,000 in-the-money put options were scooped up at the January 22 strike price for an average premium of 4.45 apiece. Perhaps the investor responsible for the transaction is long the stock and is looking to protect his position from potential downward movement in HAL through expiration in January. In this case the trader is hoping for the value of the stock to appreciate and would be considered bullish. On the other hand, the transaction could represent bearish speculation by an investor aiming to amass profits beneath the breakeven point to the downside at $17.55 by the start of 2010. – Halliburton Company

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Retail investors paint mixed picture through options

Today’s tickers: XRT, EXPD, RIMM, EWJ, GM, STP, MU, WFC, XLF, JPM & ASH

XRT Retail ETF SPDR – Shares of the retail ETF were on the rise today, gaining more than 3.5% to arrive at $23.58. Some traders established bearish bets using options, while one bullish trade stood out like a sore thumb in the June contract. At the June 22 strike price one investor purchased 17,200 in-the-money calls for a sizeable premium of 3.12 apiece. The rest of the notable trades were decidedly looking for downside movement in shares. At the near-term April contract a credit spread was initiated by purchasing 3,000 calls at the 24 strike price for 85 cents and selling 3,000 calls at the 22 strike for 2.00 apiece. The net credit enjoyed on the trade amounts to 1.15 and will be retained in full if shares fall below $22.00 by expiration. Another pessimistic investor crafted a put spread in the June contract by purchasing 5,000 puts at the 24 strike price for 2.40 each and selling 5,000 puts at the 20 strike for 90 cents. The net cost of the trade amounts to 1.50 and yields a maximum potential profit of 2.50 if shares can fall to $20.00 by expiration. Profits will begin to amass on the downside if shares fall below the breakeven on the trade at $22.50. Finally, some 5,000 puts were traded at the May 22 strike where there had previously been no open interest. The bulk of the smoke-signals from traders today suggest that the rally XRT experienced today will be short-lived.

EXPD Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. – The global logistics services company has experienced a share price rally of 6% to $29.64. EXPD appeared on our ‘high option volume put/call ratio’ market scanner with a put-to-call ratio of 190. One investor looks to be taking profit today from the short sale of 20,000 puts at the May 20 strike price, which may have originally been sold for a premium of between 0.88 cents and 1.18 per contract. The purchase of those 20,000 puts for 30 cents closes out the short position and leaves the investor with a profit of between 0.58 cents and 0.88 cents. Further along in the August contract it looks like this same investor is reestablishing a short put position. With no existing open interest at the May 22.5 strike price, 15,000 puts were…
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