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NASDAQ, Dell, Blackstone Top Option Trading

AMD takeover rumors fuel call buying, bears hit Masco


Your daily option trading wrap up.

Bullish flow detected in Liberty Media Holding (NASDAQ: LBTYA), with 2059 calls trading, or 86 times its recent average daily call volume.

Bullish flow detected in Finisar (NASDAQ: FNSR), with 5809 calls trading, or two times its recent average daily call volume in the name.

Bullish flow detected in Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX),  with 51,672 calls trading, or six times its recent average daily call volume.

Increasing volume is also being seen in JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU), Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW), and Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE).


Trading is quiet on a slow news day Monday. With no earnings of importance or economic data to guide the action, President Obama’s $3.73 trillion budget was the topic of some discussion in the morning hours. The outline includes plans to freeze domestic spending for five years. Yet, the market showed relatively little reaction to the budget and, instead, stocks are mixed in aimless trading. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is the Dow’s biggest loser after JP Morgan cut its rating on the stock. Seventeen other Dow stocks are lower, twelve higher, and the industrial average is flat heading into the final hour. The NASDAQ has added 6.6. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained .17 to 15.86. Trading in the options mart is slow. 8.2 million calls and 5.4 million puts so far.

Bullish Flow

NASDAQ OMX Group (NASDAQ: NDAQ) continues to see heavy trading following Friday’s news that NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) and Deutsche Borse are in advanced merger talks. NDAQ is up another $1.19 to $29.31 and touching new 52-week highs today after a four-day 13.5% rally. NDAQ is now up nearly 16% since earnings were reported on Feb. 2. Meanwhile, today’s options volume is 7,900 calls and 1,070 puts. NDAQ Sep 30 Calls are the most active with 2,840 traded (77% on the Ask). Looks like buyers are driving the flow in Feb 28, Feb 29, Jan 30 and Jan 35 calls as well. Implied volatility is up 6% to 35.

45,000 calls and 12,000 puts traded in Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) in front of earnings, due tomorrow after market. The top trade is a buyer of 12,000 DELL Mar 15 Calls at 20 cents each. It was tied to 241,000 shares at $14. Looks opening. 22,270 now traded versus 3,721 in open interest. DELL Feb 14 Calls are the second most actives with volume approaching 9,900. Implied volatility is up 7% to 29.

Bearish Flow

Masco (NYSE: MAS), the Taylor, Mich.-based lumber and wood company, is flat at $14.17 and a block of 3000 MAS February 14 Puts at 53 cents on the International Stock Exchange is an opening customer buyer, according to sentiment data. This investor might be buying Feb 14 puts on Feb. 14 to hedge earnings due Feb. 14, after market. 5,280 now traded. Implied volatility is up 6% to 51.5 ahead of the news.

Implied Volatility Mover

35,000 calls and 6,640 puts traded in Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) through midday. Shares are up 30 cents to $8.58 and the top trade is 2293 AMD Mar 9 Calls at 31 cents on ISE. It’s an opening customer buyer, according to ISEE data. 14,260 now traded. Feb 9, April 7, April 8, and July 10 calls are busy as well. Implied volatility is up 15% to 47. Fly on the Wall and Briefing both cite takeover chatter. AMD is also due to present at a Goldman Sachs tech conference Wednesday.

Frederic Ruffy is the Senior Options Strategist at, a site dedicated to helping traders make sense of the complex and fragmented nature of listed options trading.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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