December 02, 2009 at 16:38 PM EST
Put Volume Explodes on iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index ETF
Today’s tickers: EWH, HPQ, M, GLD, LCC, KRE, BBY, WAG & DYAX EWH - iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund – The EWH popped onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner today after one investor traded 70,000 put options on the fund. Shares of the ETF are up 0.25% this afternoon to stand at $16.22. It appears the trader shed 35,000 puts at the January 14 strike for 10 cents apiece in order to partially offset the cost of purchasing 35,000 puts at the June 14 strike for 65 cents each. The net cost of the protective play amounts to 55 cents per contract. The nearer-term short put position in the January contract implies the investor does not expect shares to dip below $14.00 by expiration in less than two months. The investors stands ready to have a whopping 3,500,000 shares of the underlying put to him at $14.00 apiece in the event that the put options do land in-the-money. The long put position in the June 2010 contract suggests the trader is already long the stock. He is most likely extending downside protection on the underlying position for the next seven months before expiration. Shares of the EWH would need to fall 17% from the current price in order for downside protection to kick in beneath the breakeven point at $13.45. We note that shares of the fund have traded above $14.00 since July 15, 2009. HPQ - Hewlett-Packard Co. – Medium-term bullish trading graced the global technology company’s February 2010 contract despite a 1% decline in HPQ shares this afternoon to $49.06. A risk reversal by one option player suggests shares could increase significantly by expiration in February. The trader sold 12,000 puts at the February 40 strike for an average premium of 27 cents apiece, and bought the same number of calls at the higher February 60 strike for 8 pennies each. The transaction yields a net credit of 19 cents per contract. The investor retains the full credit as long as HPQ’s shares remain above $40.00 through expiration day. Additional profits accumulate if the stock surges 22% higher than the current price to surpass the $60-level. The long call position probably serves more as a stop loss, or insurance policy, on the trade in the unlikely event that shares do jump more than 22% in the next three months. The reversal was more likely motivated by the 19…
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