Your intraday options trading update.
Options Volume Fell in April
Options trading volume fell in April compared with last year, though volume through the first four months of 2011 surpassed volume in the same period in 2010, according to the Options Industry Council (OIC).
Total volume in April was 335,425,947 options contracts traded, down 7% compared with April 2010. Average daily volume in April 2011 was 16,771,298 contracts, a little more than 2% lower than April 2010.
Volume for January through April of this year totaled 1,485,309,264 contracts, up nearly 16% from the same time period last year.
Equity options volume, including trading on individual stocks and exchange-traded funds, was 314,102,067 contracts, down 6.2% from April 2010. Equity option volume year-to-date was 1,387,063,516 contracts, up nearly 17% from the same period a year ago.
The OIC is an industry trade group funded by the Options Clearing Corp. and the nine U.S. options exchanges — BATS Options, Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ Options Market, NYSE Amex Options, and NYSE Arca Options. The OIC gathers the volume statistics from its funders.
High Options Volume by Strike
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) holds the top two spots as puts get some volume. The SPY May11 136 Put and the SPY May11 133 Put each trade about 60,000 contracts. Last in the 136 is 1.44, and .63 in the 133.
The Industrial SPDR (NYSE: XLI) continues its rise in activity from last week. The XLI Jun11 40 call trades more than 58,000 contracts and is up .05 to .47. The XLI is down .06 to 38.64 on trading of 8.7 million.
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index (NYSE: UUP) trades nearly 52,000 options on its Jun11 21 Put, last sale at .34, unch, with the UUP at 20.90, down .05.
Also continuing in the top 10 strikes from last week is the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSE: IWM). Its IWM Jun11 82 Put and IWM May11 82 Put each have traded about 40,000 options. The Jun 82 is up .31 to 1.49 while the May 82 is up .10 to .48. The IWM is down .75 to 85.64.
Major Stock Trading Volume Movers
International Coal (NYSE: ICO) will be acquired by Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) for about $3.4 billion or 14.60 a share. ICO trades more than 132 million shares, up 3.39 to 14.42. Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) earlier this year closed on its $7.1 billion deal for Massey Energy.
Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) sees its stock volume rise to 74.5 million shares while stock drops .28 to 6.65. Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) raised its bid for Tenet to 7.25 a shares though Tenet continues to fight takeover.
Find more option analysis and trading ideas at Options Trading Strategies.
Stocks/Underlying – Big Daily Change in Option Volume
Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) sees 29,000 options contracts trade, up about 1400% as the stock falls .37 to 55.55. Teradata hit a 52-week high early in the session. OptionMONSTER reports 10,000 May 60 Calls sold for .65 and 2,500 May 55 Calls sold for 2.55. Virtually simultaneously 11,000 Jun 65s go for .475, and 4,000 Jun 60 Calls trade at 1.30.
International Coal trades about 34,000 options as stock rises in takeover bid and trades about 140 million shares.
Stocks/Underlying – High Option Volume
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) has option volume of nearly 1 million. The Standard & Poor’s Index Options (CBOE: SPX) is down 1.11 to 1362.50 with 330,715 options contracts traded on the index.
The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) keeps running, trading 547,000 options, and is down 1.50 to 45.38. The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) trades more than 100,000 options contracts.
The CBOE Volatility Index (CBOE: VIX) is up 1.18, with options trading on the VIX hitting 188,577 contracts.
Stocks – High Put/Call Ratio
Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI) scores an astonishing 3195.00 Put/Call ratio as it drops .51 to 32.00. Not clear cause of ratio change or stock move.
Jackson Hewitt (NYSE: JTX) gets a figurative audit, trading at .362, down 30%, as its P/C ration reaches 69.78. Trading about 4.5 million shares, compared with 600,000 daily average.
Burney Simpson is the managing editor of InvestorPlace options pages.