Put Player Eyes Valassis Communications, Inc. Pullback
Today’s tickers: VCI, EXPR, XLE & LVS VCI  - Valassis Communications, Inc. –  Shares in the media and marketing services company increased as much as 2.2% at the start of the trading day to hit an intraday high of $28.00, but relinquished much of the morning’s gains to stand just 0.20% higher on the session at $27.46 as of 12:50pm. One bearish options strategist appears to be positioning for Valassis Communications’ shares to tumble ahead of June expiration. It looks like the trader purchased a put spread, buying around 1,500 now in-the-money puts at the June $27.5 strike for a premium of $2.30 each, and selling the same number of puts at the lower June $22.5 strike at a premium of $0.50 apiece. Net premium paid to initiate the transaction amounts to $1.80 per contract and prepares the investor to make money should shares in VCI drop 6.4% from the current price of $27.46 to breach the effective breakeven point on the spread at $25.70 by expiration in June. Maximum potential profits of $3.20 per contract are available to the investor should Valassis’ shares plunge 18.1% to trade below $22.50 by June expiration. EXPR  - Express, Inc. –  The specialty retailer of apparel and accessories popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning after a number of calls changed hands in the front month. Options on Express, Inc. may be more active today ahead of the firm’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which is scheduled for release ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday. Shares in Express earlier rallied 1.6% to secure an intraday high of $17.38, but slipped this afternoon to stand 0.70% lower on the session at $16.98. Options traders exchanged more than 2,400 in-the-money calls…
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