January 24, 2012 at 15:25 PM EST
Options Active In Biotechnology Space
  Today’s tickers: IBB, AMAG & AONE IBB  - iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund –  Shares in the IBB, an ETF that tracks the performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index, an index containing securities of companies classified as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, are outperforming the S&P 500 this morning, up 0.40% at $112.73 as of 11:30 a.m. in New York. The Fund’s shares are slightly off their all-time high of $114.87 set last Thursday, and options activity on the ETF today suggests one strategist may be locking in recent gains ahead of a spate of earnings releases from companies in the Index. The top 10 holdings represent more than 50% of the total Index. Amgen, Inc. and Celgene Corp. are the two largest holdings, comprising approximately 8.8% and 6.6%, respectively. Both companies are scheduled to report earnings this Thursday. The strategist responsible for the single largest transaction in IBB options today may be hedging a long position in the index or components, or may be taking an outright bearish stance on the biotech and pharmaceuticals space during earnings season. The trader appears to have sold around 4,500 calls at the Mar. $115 strike in order to partially finance the purchase of a 4,500-lot Mar. $107/$112 put spread, all for a net premium outlay of $0.05 per contract. The sale of the call options greatly reduced the cost of the put spread, which may yield profits – or downside protection – to the investor in the event that shares in the IBB dip 0.70% to breach the effective breakeven price of $111.95. Maximum potential profits of $4.95 per contract are available on the position should shares drop 5.1% to settle at or below $107.00 at expiration. The short calls, if uncovered, could result in losses on the trade in the event that the Fund’s shares rally to new record highs by expiration in March.…

 

Today’s tickers: IBB, AMAG & AONE

IBB - iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund – Shares in the IBB, an ETF that tracks the performance of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index, an index containing securities of companies classified as either biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, are outperforming the S&P 500 this morning, up 0.40% at $112.73 as of 11:30 a.m. in New York. The Fund’s shares are slightly off their all-time high of $114.87 set last Thursday, and options activity on the ETF today suggests one strategist may be locking in recent gains ahead of a spate of earnings releases from companies in the Index. The top 10 holdings represent more than 50% of the total Index. Amgen, Inc. and Celgene Corp. are the two largest holdings, comprising approximately 8.8% and 6.6%, respectively. Both companies are scheduled to report earnings this Thursday. The strategist responsible for the single largest transaction in IBB options today may be hedging a long position in the index or components, or may be taking an outright bearish stance on the biotech and pharmaceuticals space during earnings season. The trader appears to have sold around 4,500 calls at the Mar. $115 strike in order to partially finance the purchase of a 4,500-lot Mar. $107/$112 put spread, all for a net premium outlay of $0.05 per contract. The sale of the call options greatly reduced the cost of the put spread, which may yield profits – or downside protection – to the investor in the event that shares in the IBB dip 0.70% to breach the effective breakeven price of $111.95. Maximum potential profits of $4.95 per contract are available on the position should shares drop 5.1% to settle at or below $107.00 at expiration. The short calls, if uncovered, could result in losses on the trade in the event that the Fund’s shares rally to new record highs by expiration in March.…
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