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Options in Motion: Apple

Volatility takes a breather after Monday's spike higher.
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Updated from 12:43 p.m. EDT

After a big spike to start the week, volatility in the option market was much quieter on Tuesday.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), which is based on the implied volatility of the

S&P 500

options and is used as a gauge for fear in the market, was recently up 0.32% to 15.60.

The CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index, an indicator of the implied volatility of the Nasdaq 100, was recently down 0.35% to 17.22.



(PFE) - Get Free Report

had sellers of calls and buyers of puts as the stock traded lower. The October 25 calls have traded 21,900 contracts, and the October 27.50 calls changed hands 3,000 times.

Pfizer's October 22.50 puts traded 5,700 times, and the November 25 calls have traded 8,500 contracts. The stock was down 29 cents, or 1.19%, to $24.16.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Free Report

had a buyer of the January 2007 puts striking at 10 more than 14,700 times. The buying of these out-of-the-money puts is most likely due to hedging that's taking place in the credit default market. The stock was up 76 cents, or 2.98%, to $26.24.

Sprint Nextel

(S) - Get Free Report

saw its November 25 calls swapped 15,000 times and trade lower by 15 cents. Almost 1,000 union workers at Sprint Nextel went on strike to protest the company's proposed benefit cuts. The stock was down 44 cents, or 1.87%, to $23.08.

Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Free Report

had bullish option activity ahead of the company's earnings release. Investors were buying calls and selling puts in the October options.

The 50 calls have traded 9,400 times, and the 52.50 calls have traded 9,900 contracts. The 55 calls have traded 13,400 times, and the October 47.50 puts were exchanged 9,800 times. The October 45 puts saw 7,000 contracts trade. The stock was higher by 87 cents, or 1.73%, to $51.24.



had enthusiastic call buying in its October options after the company was upgraded by Citigroup to buy from hold. The October 45/47.50 call spread has traded almost 10,000 times. The customer bought the 45 calls and sold the 47.50's. Shares of Harley were up 69 cents, or 1.55%, to $45.09.

To view Mike Marino's video take on today's option action, click here.