America has a new favorite option – the iShares Silver ETF (NYSE: SLV). At least in terms of volume growth. In the charts below you can see call and put volume on top, and call and put open interest on the bottom. Open interest has doubled in three months, while typical volume has tripled since early April.
Over 130,000 Weekly options traded yesterday, including 20,751 of the SLV Weekly 43 Puts. And that’s nothing compared to regular May expiration where eight separate series saw volume of 20,000 contracts or more. An odd pair of leaders though, the SLV May 35 Puts and SLV May 50 Calls.
Oh, and implied volatility (IV). High, in the mid 40′s, but not quite a record as it hit similar levels last November. There’s one huge difference though. Back in November, 10-Day realized volatility spiked into the 50′s, whereas now it has spiked only to the mid 30′s.
Basically the entire world wants to call the top here. ZSL, the ProShares Ultra Short (-2x) Silver ETF (NYSE: ZSL) has seen a volume explosion this week. Typical daily volume before this past week hovered in the 4 million or so range. Monday alone saw over 35 million change hands, followed by 27 million yesterday.
Look, SLV will top someday, and someone will get on TV having called it right (of course he likely called it at 30 and 35 too, but that’s another story). Right now though, it sure feels like everyone and their Evil Speculative Trader Within has crowded into this trade.
Follow Adam Warner on Twitter @agwarner.