With the market holding solid gains the VIX has contracted 6% to 23.10 but still remains some 25% higher than two weeks ago. The equity only put/call ratio is running 0.55 while the p/c index products is 1.01, while these are down from the 1.0 and 1.49 readings registered on Friday they have quickly moved back in line with their 30-day moving averages.
Even though I remain dubious that we are on the precipice of big leg down it would be too soon to start ringing the all clear bell. As noted everywhere, the technical damage deep and broad, especially in the high beta names such in tech and commodity space which theoretically should be the least impacted by the reason rhetorical confusion that has come from Washington. That said, global concerns from China and Greece remain real and possibly large fundamental negatives.
With shares getting hit hard today, down some 8%, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) options are active already two times the average volume. So far about 65,000 puts have traded to 50,000 calls. But the two largest trades, a 1,600 contract purchase of the $140 calls, this was likely closing out a prior short position and the sale of 1,400 of the $115 puts, which was an opening position, have moderately bullish overtones.
Shares of Cliff Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), which have declined some in the past two weeks, are getting a 5% bounce today up $2.40 to $42.30 a share. But someone might be getting religion a little late and wanting some protection in case another 30% is in the cards as a block of 3,000 of the July $30 puts was purchased at the $1.90 asking price. Shares of CLF are still up some 150% from March lows.
Big print in Louisiana Pacific Corp (NYSE:LPX) as the $7.50 straddle with 2011 expiration was sold 10,000x for a $2.85 net credit. This will register as 42x the average daily volume and double the entire option open interest in the stock. Shares of the TN. based home construction company are up 4c to $7.15 and company set to report earnings on Feb. 10th.
NCR shares are up 5c to $0.09 notable activity in March $12.50 calls trading block of 6,000 contracts at the 65c asking price. Company slated to report earnings Thurs. Feb. 4th.
Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) shares are up 13c to $26.60 saw bullish activity as the March $27/$30 call spread was purchased 3,000x for a $1.08 net debit. This appears to be an opening position.
Disclosure: No positions