Options in Motion: Google

The search giant's filing to sell shares brings out the put buyers.
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In options trading midday Thursday, volatility seems to be trending upward as traders digest economic news and weaker than expected earnings from retailers.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), technically a measured of implied volatility based on the S&P 100 (OEX) options but a commonly used gauge of fear in the market, was recently up 1.1% to 13.45. Meanwhile, the CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of the Nasdaq 100, was flat at 15.55.

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

topped the most active list after the company filed to sell 14.8 million new shares to raise money for general corporate purposes. The news brought call sellers and put buyers across the board. The August 280 calls traded 21,000 times so far, more then three times the open interest. The August 280 and 270 puts have traded a total of 18,000 contracts. (For a list of options definitions, please check out the

glossary for the

Options Alerts newsletter.)

After a favorable court ruling,

Altria Group

(MO) - Get Report

saw heavy activity in its August and September options. The August and September 70 calls have traded a total of 35,000 contracts, while the August 65 puts have exchanged hands 13,000 times and were down 30 cents on the day.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

saw bearish activity. The March 37.5 calls were sold over 29,000 times, which is more than nine times the open interest.

Northwest Airlines

(NWAC)

saw put sellers in early activity as the stock rallied on an upgrade and on hopes of rectifying a union contract. The August 5 puts traded 3,000 times, while the September 5 puts have traded 10,000 times.

To view Mike Marino's video take on today's market, click here

.