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Bears Return to Emerging-Market ETF

By Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- Traders remain bearish toward emerging markets in a big way.

OptionMonster's scanners detected a large put roll last week in the iShares Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM) as a downside position was rolled from June to July. The bears came back right out of the gate Monday, targeting the September 38 puts for $1.20.

The volume exceeded 56,000 contracts, more than four times the strike's previous open interest, which shows new positions being established. Later in the morning, traders also snapped up the September 35 puts for 56 cents in huge size.

Puts lock in the price where a stock can be sold, which gives them an inverse relationship to the share price. Investors often use them to hedge long positions but also to speculate to the downside, so that kind of activity is definitely bearish.

The fund fell 1.35% to $40.14 Monday and is down almost 10% since the start of the year. More than 438,000 options traded in the fund in twice its daily average, and the skew was heavily bearish with fewer than 90,000 calls trading.

Najarian owns EEM puts.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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