If you were wondering, Wednesday's cacophony of selling was
not the bottom. Stocks had a little further to fall, and today's action had options pros betting that if the bottom isn't here just yet, it's near.
After rising to 2261 early on, the
, or NDX, reversed course and gave up that advance, managing to set a new 52-week intraday low this morning at 2174.76 before bouncing. The
Nasdaq 100 unit trust
, better known as the QQQ, also set a new 52-week intraday low this morning, cratering at $54.25, a good piece down the road from its 52-week intraday high of $120.50.
The QQQ rose $1.52 to $57.25, while the
advanced 9 to 1274.
Rob Sorrentino of
Sorrentino Asset Management
said around midmorning that there was "panic selling now," "panic liquidation," "all the right stuff you want to see" around a market bottom. He said the market was now showing "a lot of the elements of a bottom."
Acting on that belief, the hedge fund manager, who only trades index options, said he stepped up and bought call options on the QQQ and the S&P 500. "I bought it pretty big today," Sorrentino said.
Among the options he bought, Sorrentino purchased QQQ January 55 calls, which were trading up 3/4 ($75) to 6 3/8 ($637.50).
Meanwhile, one options trader at a big investment bank said he was positive on the market for today. Unlike Wednesday, when every attempt to rally for the market was met with renewed selling and in the end closed at the lows, today each dip has been met by buying, he said.
In news in the ongoing consolidation of the options market making business,
TFM Investment Group
, one of the options market's larger independent market making firms, announced Wednesday it has formed a partnership with
and its subsidiary,
Chicago-based Midland Trading is an options market maker on the
Chicago Board Options Exchange
American Stock Exchange
. Midland also has an index arbitrage trading unit.
TFM is a market maker on the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange
, the CBOE, the AMEX and the P-Coast. TFM is a market maker in more than 400 equity options.