STOCK NEWS US-Strategists highlight key option trades this week

Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:38am EST

Real-time equity news [E U] U.S. stock market report 1036 ET 12Nov2013 Strategists highlight key options trades this week ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Option order flow was muted on Monday, but there was interest to roll out protection from November to year-end in the emerging markets space, strategists said on Tuesday. About 640,000 puts traded in the iShares MSCI Emerging Market Fund on Monday versus 156,000 calls, according to Trade Alert. Shares of the exchange-traded fund closed at $40.95. One hefty put spread drove the higher volumes, as an investor was apparently selling 210,950 November $42.50 strike puts on the EEM for $1.60 and buying 250,000 December $41.5 puts for $1.55 per contract, said WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy.

Looking at open interest and trade history, the activity in the November $42.50 puts appears to be closing a position initiated a few weeks ago when EEM was trading around $42.55. A new position was opened in the December $41.5 puts. The position adjustment appears to be expressing concerns about additional losses for emerging markets over the next six weeks, Ruffy said. "These sorts of flows typically result in a steeping of EEM skew as put buyers overmatch those in demand for calls," Credit Suisse derivative strategists said in a report on Tuesday. Of note was another print for the ETF on Monday where an investor bet against EEM skew by selling 30,000 December $38 puts to buy 30,000 December $44 calls and collecting 20 cents for the package, CS said.

In equity options, Microsoft Corp continues to attract heavy call volume as investors digest expected management changes, said Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of RiskReversal.com in a report late on Monday. A trader on Monday appeared to be taking profits by selling the January $33-$36 call spread, 20,000 times at $2.50 to close a position. In addition, he said there appeared to be a trader rolling up and out a bullish bet by selling 7,100 November $35 strike calls at $2.56 to close a position and bought February $40 strike calls for 74 cents to initiate a new position.

Chinese Internet company SINA Corp reports earnings after the market's close on Tuesday and the options market is implying about a 10 percent move for shares, up or down, Nathan said. The shares have realized an average move of about 6 percent over the past four quarters. With the stock down 15 percent in the last few weeks since making new two-year highs in mid October, a trader closed a bullish bet by selling the December $90-$110 call spread at $1.12, he said. Nathan noted that is appears like an odd sale considering it is a $20 wide call spread with an upcoming event and over a month to expiration in a stock that has the potential to make large moves with or without news.

Facebook stock on Monday logged its third straight close below its 50-day moving average and is approaching key near term technical support at $45, Nathan said. A trader on Monday closed a now seemingly ambitious bullish bet by selling 12,500 December $60 calls at 19 cents, he added. Call activity outweighed puts in the stock on Monday by nearly two to one with a total of 287,000 calls to 150,000 puts, Trade Alert figures showed. The most active line was the December $50 calls with almost 25,000 contracts traded, Nathan said.

Reuters Messaging: doris.frankel.reuters.com@reuters.net

0913 ET 12Nov2013 Total option open interest increases by 3.49 mln contracts ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A total of 12.6 million contracts changed hands in the U.S.-listed options market on Monday, resulting in net open interest growth of 1.74 million calls and 1.75 million puts, according to Trade Alert.

Alpha Natural Resources Inc, Bank of America Corp, Cisco Systems Inc and Facebook Inc attracted the greatest increase in option open positions, data from Trade Alert showed.

The top five new positions opened include 32,000 Alpha Natural January 2014 $6 strike puts, 30,000 Alpha Natural January $11 strike calls, 25,000 Liberty Global Plc January $90 strike calls, 25,000 Alpha Natural January $9 strike calls and 24,000 Williams Companies Inc January $37 strike calls, Trade Alert said.

Reuters Messaging: doris.frankel.reuters.com@reuters.net

0721 ET 12Nov2013-Economic and earnings diary for Nov. 12 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Economic data on Tuesday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, which edged up in September. The Conference Board's employment trend index for October is also due for release.

News Corp is the only S&P 500 still expected to report earnings on Tuesday. D.R. Horton Inc and NRG Energy Inc posted results earlier in the day.

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