As the market has continued its post-election slide, the following names have seen contrarian bullish flow, suggesting a view that they may be set to climb, or at least outperform the broad market if we don't see a bounce if and when Washington announces steps to avoid the cliff.
Heinz (HNZ) Some early call buying in HNZ on Thursday as a buyer paid $0.25-$0.30 for 1,000 Dec 60 calls as shares traded near $57.41 just a few mins into the day. HNZ shares are near a 52wk high and occasionally the name shows up as the subject of deal chatter- but usually fades.
HealthNet (HNT) saw bullish flow with a buyer of Jan 27.5 calls and seller of April 20 puts just before 10am when shares were near $24.17. Total first hour volume of 5,000 contracts is nearly 6x the typical volume for the Managed Health Care provider. Today's volume is opening new positions and exceeds that seen around earnings (11/5) and the election.
Microsoft (MSFT) has been a popular name for 'stock replacement' trades in which a long-term holder uses long-term options (often in the money) instead of stock to put on their view . Today we are seeing some shorter-term call buying with Dec 28 calls the focus.
Exelis (XLS) is a high-tech warfare company, providing radar, sonar, and other systems to government agencies and while the options are normally very quiet (probably everything about the firm is hush hush), we saw a spike in call action yesterday with a buyer of Dec 10 calls for $0.90 Numbers are not big and these are slightly in the money, so there could be more to the story, but I'd take this as a bullish sign.
SINA (SINA) A large buyer stepped in for an upside butterfly on the Chinese online media firm- paying $0.25 for a total of 6000 Nov 57.5-62.5 flies when shares were near $53.46. SINA has been a wild ride for much of this year and is currently near the lower end of its 52-week range, while call open interest is near a record.