CMA – Comerica Incorporated – Shares of the financial services firm edged 3.45% lower to stand at $37.25 with just 20 minute remaining in the trading session. Bearish investors dominated activity in CMA options this afternoon, with nearly all of the day’s volume centering on the put side of the field. One investor purchased a debit put spread, buying 7,500 now in-the-money puts at the August $37.5 strike for a premium of $2.50 each, and selling the same number of puts at the lower August $32.5 strike for a premium of $0.80 apiece. The net cost of the spread amounts to $1.70 per contract, and prepares the investor to make money should Comerica’s shares decline another 3.90% to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $35.80 by expiration day in August. Maximum potential profits of $3.30 per contract are available to the responsible party if CMA’s shares plummet 12.75% from the current price of $37.25 to trade below $32.50 by August expiration. Finally, at approximately the same time the put spread was purchased, a chunk of 5,000 deep in-the-money put options changed hands at the July $40 strike and were likely sold for a premium of $3.00 per contract. The sale of the July $40 strike puts may be the work of the same investor banking gains on the sale of the now deep in-the-money puts, and subsequently initiating a large-volume debit put spread to continue to benefit from Comerica’s share price erosion.
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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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