Bearish Player Unfurls Butterfly Wings on Financial Select Sector (XLF)

XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – The familiar shadow of a put butterfly spread appeared in the August contract on the XLF, an exchange-traded fund designed to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Financial Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index, suggesting shares of the fund may continue to decline in the next couple of months to expiration. Shares of the ETF are currently down more than 3.7% to $13.96 with 25 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell. The bearish put butterfly spread involved the purchase of 10,000 now in-the-money puts at the August $14 strike for a premium of $0.62 apiece [wing 1], and the purchase of 10,000 puts at the lower August $12 strike for a premium of $0.17 each [wing 2]. The investor sold 20,000 puts at the central August $13 strike for a premium of $0.32 a-pop [body]. The net cost of the pessimistic play amounts to $0.15 per contract, thus preparing the investor to make money if shares slip beneath the upper breakeven price of $13.85 ahead of expiration day in August. Maximum available profits of $0.85 per contract are safe in the investor’s piggy bank if shares of the underlying fund decline another 14% from the current price of $13.96 to settle at $12.00 at expiration. Options implied volatility on the XLF jumped 17.5% to 35.96% by 3:38 pm (ET).

About Andrew Wilkinson 1023 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

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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