Not surprisingly, trading was robust on
Nasdaq 100 unit trust
options today, but with one notable twist.
Until today, QQQ options were listed only on the
American Stock Exchange
. But today, the
Chicago Board Options Exchange
began listing them as well, and the March 55
calls were the most active option there. The underlying QQQ
fell 90 cents to $51.25.
What may have been more typical, though, was that traders continued to play the QQQ on the bullish side, especially in the wake of the market's strong performance Monday.
The volume in the calls on the QQQ isn't too surprising, judging by the open interest configuration of the QQQ options. Joe Sunderman, an analyst at
Schaeffer's Investment Research
, said that the put/call open interest ratio for QQQ options was 0.34 and is making a new annual low. The QQQ "continues to see a lot of bullish speculation," said Sunderman.
On the CBOE, more than 8,300 of the
out-of-the-money March 55 calls have changed hands. The calls fell 0.40 ($40) to 1.30 ($130). On the Amex, the March 55 calls were also active, with more than 4,300 contracts trading.
is the designated primary market maker for QQQ options at the CBOE. At the Amex, the QQQ options specialist is
Overall, call volume was decidedly heavier in QQQ options expiring in March. On the Amex, volume in the March 50 calls and
puts was nearly even. More than 3,300 of the calls traded, while the March 50 puts saw trading of more than 3,050 contracts.
Meanwhile, the April 57 calls were seeing a lot of interest on the Amex, with more than 7,000 contracts trading. The April 57 calls fell 0.35 ($35) to 2.40 ($240).
If all that volume translates into bullishness, it would be troublesome to contrarian traders, who like to see a lot of put buying on a specific issue rather than call buying as a turnaround signal. And with the Nasdaq 100 index shares down from a 52-week high of $120, who can blame them?