Options Activity Alert: TSLA, JCP

TSLA – Tesla Motors Inc. – Shares in electric carmaker Tesla Motors are vacillating between negative and positive today, currently down 0.40% at $120.00 just before 11:00 a.m. EST.

Trading in far out of the money put options on TSLA in the early going today suggests one options player may be positioning for shares in the name to continue to decline during the next few weeks. What appears to be a bear put spread on Tesla could be an outright bearish play on the stock or disaster insurance to hedge a long position in the underlying shares.

It looks like the trader purchased a 1,000-lot regular Dec $80/$90 put spread, paying a net premium of $0.40 each. The spread makes money if shares in Tesla drop 25% from the current price of $120.00 to breach the breakeven point on the downside at $89.60, with maximum potential profits of $9.60 per contract available in the event that shares plunge 33% to $80.00. Shares in Tesla are down roughly 40% since reaching a record high of $194.50 on September 30th, though the stock still trades up 275% since this time last year.

JCP – J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Trading in weekly options that expire one week from Friday looks for shares in J.C. Penney to continue to push to the upside in the near term. Shares in JCP are up more than 6.0% this morning at a two-month high of $9.95, having rallied approximately 60% off a record low of $6.24 reached back on October 22nd.

Upside calls expiring at the end of next week are active this morning, with fresh interest in the Dec 06 ’13 $10 and $10.5 strike calls looking for the stock to extend gains. Around 3,000 of the $10 strike calls have changed hands so far today against zero open interest, with much of the volume purchased in the early going at an average premium of $0.24 each. Buyers of these contracts stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that JCP shares settle above the average breakeven point at $10.24. Volume in the Dec 06 ’13 $10.5 strike calls is pushing toward 700 contracts as of the time of this writing, with much of the interest buying the calls at an average premium of $0.13 each. Traders long the $10.5 strike calls stand ready to profit at expiration next week if shares in the retailer rise 7.0% over the current price of $9.95 to exceed the breakeven point at $10.63.

About Caitlin Duffy 373 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

Caitlin Duffy joined Interactive Brokers in 2009. In her role as Equity Options Analyst, Caitlin provides daily market commentary; highlighting various options trades, trading patterns and strategies of interest. Through Interactive Broker's webinar program, Ms. Duffy presents a number of educational, options-related events describing the theoretical pricing of options, the option Greeks as well as options strategies.

Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers offers direct market access to around 80 electronic global markets from a single account. Successful traders and investors understand that superior technology and lower trading costs can result in greater returns. For 32 years we have been building direct access trading technology that delivers real advantages to professionals worldwide. With consolidated equity capital of US $4.4 billion, IB and its affiliates exceed 1,000,000 trades per day. In addition, our prudent and conservative risk policies make Interactive Brokers a safe haven for your money. Discover some of the reasons why IB, the largest independent US broker/dealer, is the professional traders' and investors' choice.

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