Today’s tickers: LXK, EEM, MT, VIX, HUM, IPI, MIR & UNH
LXK – The world’s fifth-largest printer and toner seller announced that printers with internet connectivity and programmable software will be available in September. Shares of LXK have enjoyed an approximate rally of 2% to $18.13. Investor’s bullish on LXK concentrated their interest in call options on the stock today. The now in-the-money August 17.5 strike price had about 1,700 calls picked up for an average premium of 1.25 apiece. Investors long of these calls are hoping shares of LXK will rise 3% from the current price to surpass the breakeven point at $18.75. Traders who are looking for an even sharper rally bought 2,000 calls at the higher August 20 strike for 35 cents per contract. Shares would need to climb higher by 12% before traders breakeven at a price of $20.35. Option implied volatility surged to 52% on the stock, up from yesterday’s reading of about 46%. – Lexmark International, Inc.
EEM– Shares of the emerging markets fund have climbed approximately 1% to stand at $31.40. The spread of a massive number of put options between the July and August contracts caught our attention today as one investor looks to be taking a bearish stance on the exchange-traded fund. It appears that some 73,000 puts were sold at the July 31 strike price for an average premium of 37 cents apiece and spread against the purchase of 73,000 puts at the lower August 30 strike for 1.07 each. The net cost of the calendar spread amounts to 70 cents to the party responsible for the transaction. Shares of EEM would need to decline by about 7% before the investor begins to garner profits at the breakeven point to the downside at $29.30. – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index
MT– The steel producer attracted the attention of bearish traders today amid a very slight dip in shares by less than 0.5% to $30.84. The near-term July 30 strike price saw the short sale of approximately 3,100 in-the-money calls for a premium of 1.30 per contract. Given the high degree of risk inherent in uncovered call selling, it would seem that the investors responsible for writing the calls expect shares of MT to fall below $30.00 by expiration. The full 1.30 premium received for the sale will be retained as long as the call options land out-of-the-money by this coming Friday. Additional bearishness was observed…