March 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM EST
Large Prints in Energy SPDR ETF Put Options
Today’s tickers: XLE, TM, MHS & QCOR XLE  - Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF –  Options volume on the XLE jumped following the opening bell this morning with most of the activity concentrated in April contract puts. It looks like one big player kicked things off in the first 20 minute of the session by unraveling a massive bear put spread on the fund. Shares in the XLE rose sharply today, gaining as much as 1.95% in early afternoon-trade to hit $75.27 by 12:20pm. The trader responsible for the largest put spread print certainly seems to have a keen sense of timing, initiating the debit put spread near the XLE’s top, and taking the spread down this morning ahead of the intraday move higher. The investor appears to have initiated the spread back on February 28, 2011, when shares in the XLE reached a session-high of $78.69. The big player sat with the trade, watching shares hit fresh highs as uncertainty over turmoil in the Middle East and its effect on the price of oil continued to flourish, until the price of XLE shares started their decline on March 7. The fund’s shares fell 7.2% to today’s low of $73.03 in the 3 weeks since the trade was established, pushing the long-leg of the puts in-the-money. Today, the trader anticipated the bounce higher in XLE shares and ditched the bearish position by selling at least 66,000 in-the-money puts at the April $75 strike for a premium of $2.79 each, and buying the same number of the lower April $70 strike puts at a premium of $1.00 apiece. Given an approximate purchase price on the original spread of around $0.98 per contract on February 28, it looks like the put player walks away with net profits of $0.81 per contract by taking the trade down this morning. The unraveling of the transaction may be a sign this trader believes shares in the XLE are set to rise higher, at least through April expiration.…
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