Bearish option traders racked up quick gains as the SPDR S&P 500 Fund dropped Monday.
Just Friday morning, Investitute's tracking systems found that investors bought 5,000 weekly $265 puts expiring on July 13 for 74cents each with the underlying shares at $275.51. That was fresh buying, as open interest in the strike was only 1,062 contracts ahead of the print.
Investors may have bet that the S&P 500 Index, tracked by SPY, would see rising downside volatility around the weekend, a recent concern for market participants.
Those puts were traded as high as $2.37 Monday afternoon, more than three times their original purchase price. The stock fell 2.33% in the same time frame, underscoring how options can far outperform moves in their underlying shares. Investitute co-founder Jon Najarian discussed recent SPY puts on CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Monday afternoon.
Long puts lock the price where investors may sell a stock no matter how far it might drop, gaining value in a selloff with the potential for significant leverage. The contracts can be purchased either as an outright bearish bet or a hedge on a long-stock position.
The SPDR S&P 500 Fund fell 1.36% on Monday and closed at $271. Trade war concerns have rattled the shares in recent weeks.