Reports that Citi (C, news, chart, volatility) may be in talks to sell Smith Barney to Morgan Stanley has shares of both firms whipping around. Citi dipped 25cents to 6.70 but has since bounced slightly. Options flow in C is dominated by Put trading, with more than 100,000 Puts vs 58,000 calls on the tape with 20min to go. Feb 8 puts saw buying when share were near $7.05 this morning. MS shares are up 4% near 19.06 and calls outnumber puts there nearly 2 to 1. Jan 20 calls are most active in MS, with 10,200 on the tape and buyers currently paying 75cents.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Henry Schwartz is the president of Trade Alert LLC, a provider of real-time options analysis tools to leading Wall Street firms. His systems analyze hundreds of thousands of transactions per second to help professionals identify and interpret market activity in real time, supporting informed trading decisions and intelligent idea generation. He has held institutional trading and management roles with Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Salomon Brothers and the Hull Group, and made markets on the CBOE and AMEX floors in the US, and EUREX and MONEP overseas. Prior to founding Trade Alert, he led the electronic market-making group at Bank of America coincident with the launch of the International Securities Exchange. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.