Wednesday’s total option volume of 15.6 million contracts resulted in net open interest growth of 3.02 million calls and 3.08 million puts. Apple Inc (AAPL), Nokia Corp (NOK), PPG Industries Inc (PPG) and Research In Motion Ltd (RIMM) saw the greatest growth. Top five new positions opened include 44k PPG Industries Inc (PPG) Feb-13 180 puts, 43k PPG Industries Inc (PPG) Feb-13 180 calls, 40k Nokia Corp (NOK) Apr-13 4.5 puts, 29k Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) Jul-13 24 calls and 22k Georgia Gulf Corp (GGC) Feb-13 60 calls.
In Safeway (SWY), there was a buyer of nearly 20,000 Mar 21 calls yesterday. There is speculation that SWY may sell its Canadian stores.
In front of earnings, there is bearish flow in Fusion-io Inc. (FIO) and Exelon Corp (EXC). FIO is expected to report on Jan 30 and EXC is expected to report on Feb 7.
The underlying strength of the overall stock market is on display today as AAPL is down by nearly 11% and the S&P 500 and DJIA are both up. Making AAPL less of a driver of overall market direction is a healthy development for broad market investors.