Options Report: January 31st, 2011

Financial News Network
February 01, 2011 AT 9:55 AM
Welcome to the Financial News Network options report. We have searched the options markets for stocks that have had both above average call volume and put volume, as a potential source for where institutions are placing their near-term bets. On the bullish call side, Emerson Electric tops the chart with over 4 times the amount of average call volume traded so far today. This comes as the company prepares to report earnings tomorrow before the bell. The U.S. Oil ETF, symbol USO, which tracks the price of oil is also on the list with 3.6 times the average amount of calls traded today. The turmoil in Egypt is leading some oil traders to believe that a spike in oil prices could occur should the crisis spread elsewhere in the Middle East. Biotech firm Clinical Data also made our list with bullish call option activity. The underlying shares of CLDA are trading more than 5% higher today as well. Xerox and Pepsi round out the list as there has been heavy call option buying in both those stocks today. Moving to the bearish put option screen, grocer Safeway tops the list with over 14 times the average amount of puts traded today. There has been heavy action on the Feb 20 strike. Chip component company MIPS Technologies is also seeing a lot of bearish bets being placed with over 4 times the amount of puts traded. This comes a week after the company reported results where the top line fell short of expectations. So clearly some traders are anticipating even lower prices in the days and weeks ahead. Whirlpool and JC Penny also make our list with nearly well over the average amount of put contracts traded today. Whirlpool is set to report results on Wednesday and we are perhaps seeing some hedging going into the report. Finally, Sysco, the food distribution company, also is seeing some put activity with just under 3 times the average amount of puts traded. There has been some talk that food inflation could hit the margin and ultimately the bottom lines of food businesses so we could be seeing some bearish positioning taking place in SYY options. This has been you daily options update from the Financial News Network. Stay tuned for more insight into where the big money is placing their bets.