Thursday’s total option volume of 20.1 million contracts resulted in net open interest growth of 3.61 million calls and 3.96 million puts. Microsoft Corp (MSFT), Apple Inc (AAPL), Dow Chemical Co (DOW) and Research In Motion Ltd (RIMM) saw the greatest growth. Top five new positions opened include 50k Dow Chemical Co (DOW) Jan-14 40 calls, 49k Dow Chemical Co (DOW) Jan-14 45 calls, 29k Apple Inc (AAPL) 1/25 weekly 470 calls, 24k PPG Industries Inc (PPG) Feb-13 180 calls and 23k PPG Industries Inc (PPG) Feb-13 180 puts.
Over the past several weeks, we have seen bullish flow on wireless service provider Vodafone (VOD). Yesterday, an opening investor sold July 24 (.28d) puts vs. buying July 27 (.48d) calls, 10,000x, paying $0.47 for the package. July and Feb calls have been unusually active over the past two weeks or so. Investors have purchased Feb 25, 26, 27 calls (about 50k total) and July 26, 28 calls (~20k total). There continues to be speculation as to the fate of the VZ/VOD joint venture in Verizon Wireless, and on Wednesday Einhorn made positive comments about VOD in his quarterly letter to investors.
The market has been nearly straight up in 2013. Yesterday, we saw some large macro hedges yesterday being placed including a buyer of 100,000 VIX Feb 16 calls for $0.33. Separately, an investor bought the April 16 put/ May 20 call calendar strangle, 20,000 times for $3.425. We have seen investors buying April upside in the VIX earlier this week, including a buyer of 50,000 April 20/24 call spreads on Wednesday. In the XRT (Retail), an investor got long 105,000 March 60/64 put spreads for $0.50. We saw a buyer of 30,000 of these put spreads last week for $0.79.