December 15th, 2015

Market bullish, options bearish

Today’s tickers: XLI, XLY, DELL, CAT, XLF, AET, AN, EWT, SLAB, QLGC, BYD & INTC XLI Industrial Select Sector SPDR – The industrials ETF attracted massive amounts of downside protection by investors fearing a near-term contraction in shares of the fund. The price per share is currently up by 3% to $23.19 on the day following broader market gains experienced today. However, traders have enacted a decidedly bearish position on the fund in the near-term May contract. At the May 19 strike price more than 65,100 puts were purchased for an average premium of 17 cents apiece. These option contracts will begin to yield profits to the downside beginning at the breakeven share price of $18.83. Further along, the in-the-money June 23 strike price saw traders who were likely banking gains on the rise in shares today by selling approximately 27,000 calls for an average premium of 65 cents per contract. XLY Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR – The consumer discretionary ETF jumped onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after investors bought a huge chunk of puts in the near-term May contract. Shares have rallied by 4% to $21.80 today, creating lesser cost premiums on put options. At the May 20 strike price approximately 58,100 puts were picked up for an average premium of 18 cents apiece. Investors have certainly appeared to brace themselves for bearish movements in the fund. Fleshing out the pessimistic picture was the sale of 2,290 calls at the May 23 strike for 82 cents which indicates that traders do not see today’s rally stemming too much further, particularly in the near-term. DELL Dell Inc. – The just-in-time manufacturer of personal computers has rallied by more than 4% to $11.35 amid broad market gains today. We observed one trader who appears to have established a covered call in the January 2010 contract. It is likely that this investor bought shares of the underlying stock today or was already long the stock previously, and then sold 24,500 calls at the January 12.5 strike price for a premium of 1.50 each. The trader pockets the 1.50 premium and has locked into gains of 10% on the rise in share price should the calls land in-the-money and the underlying stock get called from him at expiration next year. CAT Caterpillar, Inc. – Shares of CAT have rallied by more than 3.5% today to arrive at the current price of $34.00. One investor initiated…
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