Today’s tickers: EEM, CNX, GDX, EK, IYR, CMC, SYNA, RF, BP & IGT

EEMiShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – Shares of the emerging markets fund, which tracks the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, rallied 0.40% to touch a new 52-week high of $43.79 during the trading session. Options players have exchanged more than 315,000 option contracts on the fund with less than two hours remaining the trading day. A number of options players appear to be bracing for a potential pullback in the price per share of the emerging markets fund, while other investors may be positioning to benefit from greater options implied volatility on the fund during the next several months. One trader enacted a three-legged bearish options combination play in the May contract. The options investor sold 10,000 calls at the May $47 strike for a premium of $0.26 apiece in order to partially finance the purchase of a debit put spread. On the put side, the trader picked up 10,000 lots at the May $41 strike for a premium of $0.60 each, and sold the same number of puts at the lower May $37 strike for $0.16 apiece. The net cost of the bearish transaction amounts to $0.18 per contract. Therefore, the investor is prepared to accrue maximum potential profits of $3.82 per contract if shares of the EEM plummet 15.4% from the new high of $43.74 to reach the lower strike price of $37.00 by May expiration. Further along in the June contract, another options player appears to have invested in a long straddle on the fund. The trader responsible for the straddle purchased 10,000 calls at the June $44 strike for a premium of $1.75 apiece in combination with the purchase of 10,000 in-the-money puts at the same strike for a premium of $2.06 each. Net premium paid by the investor amounts to $3.81 per contract. The nature of the straddle strategy indicates the trader expects the price of the underlying fund to shift dramatically in either direction ahead of June expiration. The investor makes money if shares surge at least 9.3% to exceed the upper breakeven point at $47.81, or if shares decline at least 8.1% to breach the lower breakeven price of $40.19, by expiration day in June.

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