The Intel April 35 calls traded more than 12,000 contracts on the
American Stock Exchange
. The calls fell 1 1/6 ($106.25) to 9/16 ($56.25). Meanwhile, some
in-the-money July 37 1/2 puts were seeing a good chunk of volume, with 10,000 contracts trading on the
. The puts rose 5/8 ($62.50) to 8 1/4 ($825). Also on the P-Coast, more than 9,300 of the July 37 1/2 calls changed hands, down 1 ($100) to 1 1/2 ($150). Meanwhile, shares of Intel recently slumped $3.69, or 11%, to $29.56 on volume of 62 million shares.
Intel options volume yesterday was significantly higher than normal, too. A total of 161,670 contracts traded compared to the average daily volume of 78,991, according to
And this week, ahead of the news, a major investment bank sold 80,000 Intel July 35 calls, quite a prescient move, an options trader said. Selling call options is a mildly bearish strategy. Investors sell calls on the hope that the options will expire worthless, or below the strike price. It was unclear, though, if the call-selling was done in relation to a large stock position in Intel. Investors often sell calls when they own positions in a stock that looks range-bound in the short term. The call sales generate capital through the premium the buyers pay for the option and -- for an investor holding the stock -- can offset a slip in the stock price and short-term malaise.
Intel said after the close Thursday that first-quarter revenue would be below its previous expectations as the economic slowdown that has hampered PC sales has continued and expanded to the server, networking and communications sectors. The company said it expects revenue in the first quarter to be down about 25% from the fourth quarter's $8.7 billion. The company had
previously said it believed revenue would fall roughly 15% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. The chip giant also said it's going to cut 5,000 jobs over the next nine months, mostly through attrition.
In the latest in the
Nasdaq 100 unit trust
options multiple-listing story, Thursday was a banner day for the CBOE and
, the designated primary market maker for QQQ options at the exchange. Volume in QQQ options yesterday at the CBOE was 317,256 contracts, accounting for 74% of the total volume among the exchanges that now trade the options, the CBOE said.
Options on the QQQ until last week were listed exclusively on the
American Stock Exchange
. The CBOE kicked off the multiple listing of QQQ options. It was followed by the
International Securities Exchange
. On Monday, the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange
will begin listing QQQ options.
The volume yesterday on QQQ options at the CBOE topped Wednesday's total of 154,565 contracts by a mile.