Archive for June 4th, 2008

CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX) $20.95 +3.51%

The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX) made a run back above 21 for the first time since mid-April. VIX is now well above it’s May close of 17.84. Risk perceptions are higher amid ongoing worries about the financials. The NASDAQ, on the other hand, is outperforming and the NASDAQ 100 Volatility Index (.VXN), which is less [...]

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AMR Corp (AMR) $7.38 +0.81%

Option volume picking up dramatically in last 10 minutes. Waves of july 5 put buyers coinciding with reversal in stock, 7.35 last off of intra-day highs at 7.96. july 5 puts trading at 180 implied volatility +40 pts on the day. The absolute volatility number is deceiving b/c low dollar stocks tend to trade at [...]

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McGraw Hill Companies Inc (MHP) $43.86 +6.46%

McGraw Hill Companies (MHP) puts are active. Shares are trading up $2.56 to $43.76 the day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the credit rating agencies [MHP, Moody's (MCO)] are near a settlement with the NY Attorney General. The deal is likely to include changes to way the agencies are paid, but could also [...]

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Altria Group Inc (MO) $22.01 +0.14%

Altria (MO) is seeing seven times its normal trading volume on two large January 19 put buy orders. A block of 25,000 hit the offer side at roughly 14:15. Forty-five minutes later, another block of 15,000 traded at the same price. Shares are down three pennies to $21.95 and there is no news on the [...]

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State Street Corp (STT) $70.56 -1.12%

State Street (STT) is seeing 7 times its normal trading volume. The stock is down 90 cents to $70.45 after the bank said it would raise $2.8 billion in an offering of 35.7 million for “what an analyst speculates will be future acquisitions,” according to AP. The news seemed to trigger some defensive put buying [...]

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Novartis AG ADR (NVS) $52.40 -1.45%

On 11x average option volume, the Swiss pharma giant has seen buyers of june and july 50 puts, 1500 and 6500 respectively. Implied vol is 2 pts higher to 27%. The company is holding an investor day today where the highlight will be their discussion of upcoming meningitis vaccines.

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Ambac Financial Group (ABK) $2.54 -15.28%

AMBAC Financial (ABK) options volume is picking up after Moody’s put the company’s Aaa rating on review for possible downgrade. After hitting a high of $2.91 earlier in the trading session, shares are down 43 cents to $2.57 on the news. 8,800 puts have traded, compared to 4,000 call options.

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MBIA Inc (MBI) $5.94 -11.21%

Put volume is picking up in MBIA (MBI) following news midday. Moody’s has placed MBIA Aaa ratings under review for possible downgrade. Moody’s says the most likely outcome of the review would be a downgrade. After hitting a high of $6.77 early, MBI is trading down 50 cents to $6.19. A total of 6,500 puts [...]

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Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) $13.59 +0.52%

Correction — UAUA is shutting down their discount carrier.

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Ashland Inc (ASH) $56.20 +3.23%

Ashland (ASH) is seeing 13 times its normal trading volume on talk a German company might make a bid for the company (per Briefing). Shares are up $1.79 to $56.23 and more than 6,000 call options have traded, compared to 1,156 put options. Most of the action is in the June 55 and 60 calls. [...]

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