By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network
We saw heavy put-buying across the technology sector right out of the gate today, and at least one bearish investor in
is participating in the put-buying frenzy.
Looking at the Oct 19 puts, approximately 24,000 of these options have traded so far today, while the Oct. 20 puts have changed hands 22,000 times so far today. During the first 15 minutes of the trading day today, an investor bought more than 8,000 Oct. 20 puts for around $1.60 per contract. The Oct. 19 puts, which are home to current open interest of 25,000 contracts, are currently trading up 18 cents while the Oct. 20 puts, which are home to current open interest of 43,000 contracts, have gained 16 cents to $1.55 on the day.
I wrote about heavy call-selling on Texas Instruments Oct. 20 calls, in which more than 5,000 contracts crossed the tape with the stock rallying on the day. I noted that the investor also sold more than 25,000 Oct. 20 puts a couple days before, suggesting the customer most likely sold the calls after selling the puts following a move in implied volatility to 40.1 from 41.2 at the close Friday, May 1. Today, the investor could be buying the Oct 19 and Oct. 20 puts to close; we will watch if open interest is lower tomorrow.
Texas Instruments' stock is currently trading down 16 cents to $20.81 a share. It's interesting that the stock is down the same amount as the Oct. 20 puts are up, but these puts are not 100-delta, so for them to move virtually one-for-one with the stock suggests that implied volatility must be rising. Implied volatility of the Oct. 20 and Oct. 19 puts is up to more than 40 from a close of closer to 38.6 last night. Texas Instruments shares have rallied 50% since March 2, when they dipped to a 52-week low of $13.77.
We also saw put-buying activity in
during the first 10 minutes of the trading day. An investor bought 6,000 Oct. 18 puts for around $1.35 with the stock at $18.48. The puts are currently trading up 6 cents and are home to current open interest of 11,500.
The investor needs Cisco shares to expire below $16.65 come October expiration to make money. Cisco stock has declined 12 cents to $18.30 so far today but is up about 40% since reaching a 52-week low of $13.62 on March 9.
Check out ONN.tv's Sidewinder report today for more on put-buying activity that hit the tape today. Investors should not run out and sell their Texas Instruments or Cisco shares just because of heavy put-buying. But you could take note that some investors are turning more cautious on these technology shares, at least for the next few months.
Meet Jud Pyle live in Las Vegas at the Forex & Options Expo on Aug. 2-4.
Jud Pyle is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network (www.ONN.tv) and the portfolio manager of TheStreet.com Options Alerts. Click here for a free trial for Options Alerts. Mr. Pyle writes regularly about options investing for TheStreet.com.
Jud Pyle, CFA, is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network. Pyle started his career in finance in 1994 as a derivative analyst with SBC Warburg. After four years with Warburg, Pyle joined PEAK6 Investments, L.P., in 1998 as an equity options trader and as chief risk officer. A native of Minneapolis, Pyle received his bachelor's degree in economics and history from Colgate University in 1994. As a trader, Pyle traded on average over 5,000 contracts per day, and over 1.2 million contracts per year. He also built the stock group for all PEAK6 Investments, L.P. hedging, which currently trades on average over 5 million shares per day, and over 1 billion shares per year. Further, from 2004-06, he managed the trading and risk management for PEAK6 Investments L.P.'s lead market-maker operation on the former PCX exchange, which traded more than 10,000 contracts per day. Pyle is the "Mad About Options" resident expert. He is also a regular contributor to "Options Physics."