CAT – Caterpillar Inc. – Shares in the world’s largest maker of mining equipment are off 1.0% today at $82.86 after the company said global retail machine sales fell 12% in October from a year ago while sales of power systems declined 9%.
Options on CAT are more active than usual, with volume above 37,000 contracts versus the stock’s average daily volume of around 26,100 contracts. Trading in Caterpillar put options is outpacing that of calls, with the put/call ratio nearing 2.25 as of the time of this writing. The most traded options on CAT today are the Dec 06 ’13 $81 strike puts, with roughly 8,700 lots in play against open interest of 140 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the volume was purchased at an average premium of $0.53 each during the first half of the session. Put buyers stand ready to profit at expiration in two weeks in the event that Caterpillar’s shares slide 3.0% from the current level to trade below the effective breakeven point at $80.47.