February 01, 2010 at 16:24 PM EST
Amazon Options in High Demand Following eBook Pricing Concession
Today’s tickers: AMZN, DELL, FXI, AET, XOM, LPX, CSCO, VCI & ITMN AMZN – Amazon.com, Inc. – E-tailer, Amazon.com, Inc., attracted two-way trading traffic in its options today after the firm gave in to publisher, Macmillan’s, demands to increase the price of digital books. Amazon.com’s concession to Macmillan is fueling investor concerns that the largest internet retailer is relinquishing its pricing advantage. Shares of the online shopping destination slumped more than 8.65% during the trading session to an intraday low of $114.38 – the largest decline in Amazon’s shares in more than one year. Investors inundated Amazon with options trades today, exchanging more than 226,300 contracts on the stock by 2:50 pm (EDT). Option volume generated thus far in the session represents more than 45% of the total 493,697 lots of existing open interest on AMZN. Strong demand for options on the stock as well as a rise in investor uncertainty boosted option implied volatility on Amazon roughly 8.3% higher to 41.44% in afternoon trading. Option traders expecting shares to rebound quickly purchased 2,200 call options at the February $115 strike for an average premium of $5.67 apiece. The $120.67 breakeven price on the contracts suggests call buyers expecting to amass profits in the next few weeks, anticipate a more than 5% increase off the intraday low, by expiration day in February. Call buying and selling in roughly equal proportions was observed at the February $120 strike and at the February $125 strike. Two-way trading traffic of put options is also apparent in the February contract. Contrarian players sold nearly 8,000 puts at the February $115 strike to take in an average premium of $3.58 per contract. Put sellers at this strike keep the full premium received if AMZN’s shares trade above $115.00 through expiration day. The most bearish moves were made at the March $105 strike where 1,100 puts were picked up for an average premium of $2.81 each. DELL – Dell, Inc. – Bullish investors initiated call spreads on the just-in-time manufacturer of personal computers this afternoon with Dell’s share price up 2.5% to $13.22 on the day. Option traders purchased more than 10,000 calls at the August $14 strike for an average premium of $1.17 apiece, spread against the sale of roughly 10,000 calls at the higher August $18 strike for an average premium of $0.20 each. The average net cost of the bullish trade amounts to $0.97 per contract. Investors…
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