Today’s tickers: UNG, HIG, XLF, XRT, CLF, WFMI & VRTX
UNG– Shares of the natural gas fund have rallied by more than 1% to stand at $16.66. We observed some bullish call buying on the ETF by one investor looking for natural gas prices to heat up as we head into the beginning of ‘heating season’ in October. It appears that this individual looked to the October 20 strike price and purchased 26,000 calls for an average premium of 1.45 apiece. The 31,000 call options traded at the October 20 strike today is more than five times the existing open interest at the strike of just 6,834 lots. With a breakeven point of $21.45 on the trade, the investor is hoping to see shares of UNG rally by a minimum of 29% from the current price so he may begin to garner profits to the upside. – United States Natural Gas ETF
HIG– Investors in the insurance and financial services firm have witnessed HIG’s shares surge more than 21% today to the current price of $15.23. While a mass of more than 120,000 option contracts exchanged hands on the stock throughout the trading day, our attention was drawn to a couple of bullish plays. Traders who expect the stock to retain gains into next month looked to the June 16 strike price and purchased some 4,000 calls for an average premium of 1.20 each. Investors will breakeven at a price of $17.20 by expiration. Uber-bullishness was observed at the September 25 strike where about 4,400 calls appear to have been purchased for a premium of 91 cents per contract. These call-buyers have thrown a Hail Mary pass today, but they will have to wait to see whether it will be received in the end zone or whether it will fall short by expiration. To profit from the long-call position, shares will need to rally with a vengeance by about 70% through the breakeven point at $25.91. Option implied volatility has climbed throughout the week from 112% on Monday to the current reading of 144%. – Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
XLF– The financials ETF, a daily presence on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner, has enjoyed a more than 3.5% rally to $11.80 amid broad gains enjoyed by financial firms today. While more than 250,000 option contracts were traded on the fund, we focused in on one trade in particular…