Today’s tickers: ARNA, XLF, EEM, FXI, ARM, MAR & MYGN

ARNA– The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company received a downgrade to ‘sell’ at EVA Dimensions this morning, perhaps prompting bearish put buying which we observed in the October contract. However, a contrarian trader took an opposing stance on the stock by utilizing puts at the same strike, albeit in a different manner. Shares have declined less than 0.5% to stand at the current price of $4.87. Plain-vanilla put buying earlier in the session matched the bearish downgrade. Approximately 10,000 puts were purchased at the October 4.0 strike price for an about 95 cents apiece. Traders holding the puts will begin to amass profits if shares of ARNA fall beneath the breakeven price of $3.05. An investor with a glass-half-full outlook on Arena chose to purchase a chunk of 10,000 puts at the same strike for a dollar a-pop. However, these put options were married to shares of the underlying stock because the trader is hoping for shares to appreciate. He has strategically used put options to protect his long stock position in case the value of the shares decreases ahead of expiration. – Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. –

XLF– Shares of the financials ETF have surrendered less than 1% during the trading session to stand at $14.53. A long-term short strangle was positioned in the January 2011 contract by an investor expecting lower price volatility through expiration. It appears that the trader shed 8,000 puts at the January 13 strike price for a premium of 1.80 each and sold 8,000 calls at the higher January 17 strike for 1.40 apiece. The ‘strangler’ receives a gross premium of 3.20 per contract for a total of $2,560,000. He will make off like a bandit with his chunk of change as long as shares remain within the parameters of the strike prices described through expiration. The short put/call positions expose him to potential losses if the price of the XLF breaches the effective breakeven points. Losses begin to accrue if shares rise through $20.20 or fall beneath $9.80 by expiration. We note that this individual does not need to remain short through January in 2011. He may choose to take profits by making a closing purchase for a net price that is less than 3.20, or the premium received on today’s transaction. – Financial Select Sector SPDR –

EEM– A large-volume put spread was initiated by an investor who…
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