Today’s tickers: PEP, XLY, ITT, PFE, HUM, HSY, ERTS & NTRS

PEP PepsiCo, Inc. – The global beverage, snack, and food company’s shares have rallied by more than 1% to stand at $49.75. PEP popped onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after a large volume bullish transaction was observed in the October contract. One optimistic individual targeted the October 50 strike price and sold 30,000 puts for a premium of 4.20 apiece out of some 35,000 puts sold in total at the strike. There is no existing open interest at the October 50 strike, and thus, the trade represents short selling in anticipation that shares will rise beyond $50.00 by expiration in October. This could also represent a covered put strategy (short stock and sold puts) indicating the investor’s expectation that shares might fall further. At expiration if shares are below the strike the investor would have stock put to him at $50.00 but the premium from the puts effectively reduces that price to $45.80.

XLY Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR – Shares of the ETF have risen by about 0.5% to $22.60 as the ticker edged onto our ‘most active by option volume’ market scanner this afternoon due to one investor who established a ratio put spread in the June contract. It appears that this trader is looking for downside protection on the fund and so bought 12,500 puts at the June 22 strike price for 1.30 apiece spread against the sale of 25,000 puts for 65 cents at the June 20 strike price. The put spread was initiated at no cost the trader given the premium of the respective puts. If shares should decline all the way to $20.00 by expiration this individual will have reeled in the maximum profit of 2.00 possible on the trade. Profits will begin to amass to the downside at any share price below $22.00. Despite carrying a net short put position below a share price of $20.00 losses would not accrue unless shares slipped beneath $18.00, but would rise penny-for-penny thereafter.

ITT ITT Corporation – Shares of the multi-industry company engaged in the design and manufacture of engineered products have remained relatively flat for the day and currently stand at $40.73. ITT appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner after one investor initiated a sold straddle in the July contract. It appears that the straddle was established by the sale of 4,790…
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