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Overall options volumes have been light in December and averaging about 14 million contracts daily so far. Yet, the December expiration is a quadruple witch when futures are also expiring Friday. For that reason, there could be an uptick in volumes and market volatility late this week before action slows again through the holidays. In addition, three names saw unusual activity last week and will be worth watching in the days ahead because the focus was on the soon-to-expire Dec options.
General Electric (GE) hosts its Investor Day today beginning at 3:00 eastern time and investors were showing interest in GE December 22 calls last week ahead of the event. Activity picked up Tuesday when nearly 23,000 contracts traded and the flow created more than 20,000 contracts in new open interest. Then 28,500 traded Wednesday and open interest increased by another 12,000 contracts. Shares are up $0.20 to $21.82 this morning and open interest in the contract is 86,813,one of the largest in GE. December 22 calls on the stock are 0.8% out-of-the-money and expiring at the end of the week.
Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) December 3 calls saw heavy trading last week as well. The action really picked up Thursday when 77,760 contracts traded at a VWAP of $0.03 per contract. Then, Friday, the stock had moved up to $2.91 per share from $2.77 and another 6,600 traded at a VWAP of $0.045 per contract. SIRI is down a penny to $2.90 this morning and open interest in the December 3 call on SIRI stands at 107,378, which is the third largest in the name. The market is $0.04 to $0.05 per contract. In this case, it's not clear what the catalyst is for the activity, as there are no obvious events on the company's calendar scheduled this week.
Lastly, Research In Motion (RIMM) has been rallying on hopes for Blackberry 10, but one player seems to be taking a contrary view of the situation heading into the company's December 20 earnings report. The stock is down $0.14 to $13.90 today, but has surged 75.4% since October. The top options trades on RIMM last week might express a contrary view of the situation after a December 12 - 13.5 put spread was bought on the Blackberry-maker for $0.53 per contract Thursday. The spread was opened 10,000X and seems to express the view that the stock could fall to $12 or less through the December expiration, which represents a 10% drop by the end of business Friday.
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