Today’s tickers: XRT, CSX, POT, MON, LO & DRYS

XRT– Shares of the retail ETF have lifted higher by more than 6% to $29.19 today despite the decline in U.S. consumer spending for the second month in a row. Spending continues to suffer in the face of rising unemployment and increased efforts to save by consumers still raw from the record wealth destruction experienced in the recession. We observed one investor populate the XRT with a ratio put spread likely employed to lock into gains enjoyed on the recent rally and to establish protection from potential downward movement in shares through September’s expiration. The ratio spread involved the purchase of 25,000 puts at the September 25 strike price for a premium of 1.17 apiece which were spread against the sale of 50,000 puts at the lower September 20 strike for about 35 cents per contract. The net cost of the transaction amounts to 82 cents and yields maximum potential profits of 4.18 if shares were to edge down to $20.00 by expiration. – SPDR Retail ETF

CSX– The rail-based transportation supplier has experienced a share price rally of more than 6.5% to $33.94 in today’s trading session, attracting a plethora of option traders to the station. Near-term investors locked into recent gains by getting long of put options some 3,000 times at the June 33 strike price for 1.19 each. The higher and now in-the-money June 34 strike price saw 1,200 puts bought for 1.51 apiece. Bullish options sentiment spread to the July 35 strike price where 3,900 calls were scooped up for an average premium of 2.10 each. Call buyers at the July 35 strike are looking for shares of CSX to climb another 9% through the breakeven point at $37.10 in order to garner profits by expiration. Optimism for continued bullish movement in the stock spread to the November contract where it appears one trader has enacted a butterfly spread. The purchase of 6,000 calls at the November 40 strike price for 2.10 apiece [body] was offset by the sale of 3,000 calls at the November 35 strike for 3.80 each [wing 1] and by the sale of 3,000 calls at the higher November 45 strike price for 1.00 per contract [wing 2]. The trader receives a 60 cent credit for the transaction (1*3.80 + 1*1.00 – 2*2.10 = 0.60 cents). The investor would retain the net premium so long…
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