EFA – iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund – The implementation of a large-volume short strangle on the EFA, an exchange-traded fund designed to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI EAFE Index – an index which includes stocks from Europe, Australasia and the Far East, indicates one options strategist expects shares of the underlying fund to remain range-bound through September expiration. Shares of the EFA are trading lower by 0.63% to stand at $48.53 with less than 45 minutes remaining before the closing bell. The investor responsible for the strangle sold 16,000 puts at the September $42 strike for an average premium of $1.54 apiece in combination with the sale of the same number of calls at the higher September $52 strike for an average premium of $1.15 each. Gross premium pocketed on the transaction amounts to $2.69 per contract. The strangle-seller keeps the full premium received as long as the fund’s share price trades within the boundaries of the strike prices described through expiration. The short stance assumed in both call and put options expose the responsible party to losses in the event that shares rally above the upper breakeven price of $54.69, or if shares trade beneath the lower breakeven point at $39.31 at expiration. We note that shares of the fund have not traded below $43.29 in the past 52-weeks, however the price of EFA shares have rallied up to a 52-week high of $58.09 as recently as April 15, 2010.
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Andrew Wilkinson is the senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, where he provides daily commentary and analysis on U.S. equity options trading throughout the trading day. Andrew provides webinars designed to explain option-related trading scenarios covering futures, fixed income, forex and equities.
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