Your daily options trading wrap up.
Bullish flow detected in Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), with 16,519 calls trading, or two times its recent average daily call volume.
Bullish flow detected in Cheniere Energy (AMEX: LNG), with 9318 calls trading, or three times its recent average daily call volume.
Bullish flow detected in Sonus Networks (NASDAQ: SONS), with 4806 calls trading, or 16 times its recent average daily call volume.
Today’s options recap is really a midday update due to travel. Through 2:00 Eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has battled back from morning losses and is trading up 33 points. The table was set for weakness on Wall Street after President Hosni Mubarak late-Thursday vowed to stay in office until September elections. The news rekindled fears about the economic impact of unrest in the Arab world and sent the Dow down to 12,182 in morning action. However, by mid-morning, newswires were humming with reports that Mubarak has now agreed to relinquish power. Egyptians cheered and, in the U.S., the Dow moved off of morning lows. By midday, the industrial average was trading up to 12,263 and more than 80 off its worse levels. The day’s economic data, which included a modest improvement in the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for February and an in-line reading on the December Trade Balance, did little to move the market. Instead, trading has been relatively orderly and the bullish underlying tone continues. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) lost .32 to 15.77. Trading in the options market remains brisk, but likely to slow ahead of the weekend. 8.5 million calls and 5.9 million puts traded so far.
Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW) calls are active amid relative strength in the sector after the Obama Administration called for scaling back the government’s role in the housing loan market. MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG), PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), and Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) are trading higher as well. GNW is up 74 cents to $13.76. Early options action includes 18,000 calls and 780 puts. March 14s are the most actives and are seeing mixed trading (47% on the Bid/48% on the Ask). The Feb 14, Feb 15, Mar 14 and Mar 15 calls are seeing brisk trading as well. Implied volatility has eased about 3% to 34.5.
Nokia trades down $1.40 to $9.48 after the Finnish phone maker announced a partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and updated its financial targets. Investors don’t seem pleased with the news. Shares are getting slammed and, in options action, one investor sells a block of 11,000 NOK July 11 Calls at 29 cents each. It’s probably a liquidating trade, as open interest is 24,180.
Implied Volatility Mover
Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) adds 13 cents to $5.93 and a noteworthy trade today is a multi-exchange sweep of more than 6000 ODP Mar 6 Calls at 35 cents. The market was 25 to 35 cents. Looks like an opening buyer. 8,442 traded vs. 1,651 in open interest. ODP Feb 6 Calls are seeing interest as well, with 2,700 traded. Implied volatility is up 20% to 66. Earnings on tap for Feb. 22 (before market), and after the February expiration.
Frederic Ruffy is the Senior Options Strategist at Whatstrading.com, a site dedicated to helping traders make sense of the complex and fragmented nature of listed options trading.