August 20, 2010 at 17:29 PM EDT
Put Player Portends Additional Declines in iShares MSCI EAFE Index ETF
Today’s tickers: EFA, FTI, FBR & TYC EFA - iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund – Shares of the EFA, an exchange-traded fund created to yield investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI EAFE Index – an index designed as an equity benchmark for international stock performance with stocks from Europe, Australasia and the Far East, declined as much as 1.65% in the first half of the trading session to touch an intraday low of $50.00. One options investor was seen bracing for continued bearish movement in the price of the underlying fund through October expiration. The trader purchased a plain-vanilla put spread, buying 10,000 puts at the October $50 strike for premium of $2.31 apiece, and selling the same number of puts at the lower October $45 strike at a premium of $0.86 each. The net cost of the pessimistic play amounts to $1.45 per contract. The put spreader is prepared to make money – or realize downside protection should he hold a large position in shares of the fund – if the ETF’s shares trade below the effective breakeven price of $48.55 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $3.55 per contract are available to the investor if the EFA’s shares plunge 10% to settle below $45.00 at October expiration. Options implied volatility on the fund is higher by 6.8% to stand at 29.77% as of 11:55 am ET. FTI - FMC Technologies, Inc. – The global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the first half of the trading day after one options investor initiated a ratio put spread in the January 2011 contract. FTI’s shares are currently down 2.05% to stand at $61.00 as of 12:10 pm ET. The put player appears to have purchased 1,000 puts at the January 2011 $55 strike at a premium of $3.95 apiece, and sold 2,000 puts at the lower January 2011 $45 strike for an average premium of $1.30 each. The net cost of the spread amounts to $1.35 per contract. Profits start to accumulate for the ratio spreader if shares of the underlying stock plummet 12.05% from the current price of $61.00 to breach the effective breakeven point on the trade at $53.65 by expiration day next year. The investor stands ready to amass maximum potential profits of $8.65 per contract should FTI’s shares…
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