The Options in Motion

The market's fear gauge rises a bit as shares slide on a torpid Friday afternoon.
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Fear was on the rise Friday as the big indices gave ground.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of

S&P 500

options and is used as a gauge for fear in the market, was up 2% to 14.01. The CBOE Nasdaq Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of the Nasdaq 100, was recently up 2% to 15.66.

Fast-food chain

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

is seeing heavy option activity in almost every month. With the company's fundamentals improving, the rumor floating around trading desks is that the Hamburglar's home might be broken up as a real estate play. In October, the 30 puts have traded 16,500 times so far. Previously the open interest was 1,300 contracts. The 32.50 puts have traded 8,300 times. The open interest for that strike was 800 contracts. The March 40 calls have traded 10,500 times.

In technology stocks,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

saw its October 35 straddle trade 12,000 contracts in early action. To learn more about a straddle

click here. The company also had 2,800 September 37.50 calls trade.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

saw modest activity in its September options. The 25 puts traded 5,500 times, while the 25 and 27.50 calls have traded a total of 6,000 contracts.

Motorola

(MOT)

saw a buyer of the January 2006 22.50 calls. Over 7,100 contracts have traded so far on the day.

Oil driller

Transocean Offshore

(RIG) - Get Report

had a sellers calls as the stock traded lower. The September 60 calls traded 1,300 times and the October 60 calls traded 5,100 times.

Retailer

Chico's

(CHS) - Get Report

had sellers of calls and buyers of puts after the company said that promotional activities could hurt gross margins in coming quarters. The September 35 calls traded 3,400 times, which equals the open interest for that strike. The September 35 puts traded 2,700 contracts and were up 25% on the day. The November 35 calls were down 51% in light volume, while the February 35 calls lost 35% of its value.