Bearish Player Unfurls Butterfly Wings on Financial Select Sector SPFR Fund (XLF)
Today’s tickers: XLF, CMA, LYV, WYNN, MRVL, AVP & PX XLF - Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – The familiar shadow of a put butterfly spread appeared in the August contract on the XLF, an exchange-traded fund designed to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Financial Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index, suggesting shares of the fund may continue to decline in the next couple of months to expiration. Shares of the ETF are currently down more than 3.7% to $13.96 with 25 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell. The bearish put butterfly spread involved the purchase of 10,000 now in-the-money puts at the August $14 strike for a premium of $0.62 apiece [wing 1], and the purchase of 10,000 puts at the lower August $12 strike for a premium of $0.17 each [wing 2]. The investor sold 20,000 puts at the central August $13 strike for a premium of $0.32 a-pop [body]. The net cost of the pessimistic play amounts to $0.15 per contract, thus preparing the investor to make money if shares slip beneath the upper breakeven price of $13.85 ahead of expiration day in August. Maximum available profits of $0.85 per contract are safe in the investor’s piggy bank if shares of the underlying fund decline another 14% from the current price of $13.96 to settle at $12.00 at expiration. Options implied volatility on the XLF jumped 17.5% to 35.96% by 3:38 pm (ET). CMA - Comerica Inc. – Shares of the financial services firm edged 3.45% lower to stand at $37.25 with just 20 minute remaining in the trading session. Bearish investors dominated activity in CMA options this afternoon, with nearly all of the day’s volume centering on the put side of the field. One investor purchased a debit put spread, buying 7,500 now in-the-money puts at the August $37.5 strike for a premium of $2.50 each, and selling the same number of puts at the lower August $32.5 strike for a premium of $0.80 apiece. The net cost of the spread amounts to $1.70 per contract, and prepares the investor to make money should Comerica’s shares decline another 3.90% to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $35.80 by expiration day in August. Maximum potential profits of $3.30 per contract are available to the responsible party if CMA’s shares plummet 12.75% from the current price of $37.25 to…
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