BAC – Bank of America Corp. – One massive options transaction on Bank of America today suggests one investor has made a bee-line for the hills. The trader observed ducking for cover appears to be expecting the recent rebound in the price of the financial firm’s shares to come to an abrupt end ahead of September expiration. Shares in BAC climbed 2.1% during the session to pin down an intraday high of $13.49. It looks like the options player sold shares of the underlying stock for approximately $13.35 each and purchased 100,000 calls at the September $14 strike for premium of $0.10 apiece. The trader, who is now short the stock and effectively long a stop loss, seems to be anticipating shares will falter ahead of expiration. Near-term pessimism by one trader was countered by longer-term bullish activity on BAC in the January 2011 contract where it looks like another investor put on a three-legged bullish combination strategy. The options optimist sold 10,000 puts at the January 2011 $12.5 strike at a premium of $0.84 each, purchased 10,000 calls at the January 2011 $14 strike for premium of $1.00 apiece, and sold 10,000 calls at the higher January 2011 $17.5 strike at a premium of $0.16 a-pop. The transaction nets out to $0.00 and positions the trader to make money if shares of the financial services firm rally above $14.00 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $3.50 per contract are secure in the trader’s piggy bank if the bank’s shares jump 29.7% to trade above $17.50 by expiration day in January. We note that open interest at each of the strikes described is sufficient to cover each of the three legs of the transaction. Therefore, it is possible that the seemingly bullish trade represents a closing transaction instead.
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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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