Maxwell Meyers is the Executive Producer for CNBC's Options Action, Futures Now and Talking Numbers. Since joining CNBC in 2005, Meyers has served as the Senior Producer of The Strategy Session, Money in Motion Currency Trading and a Producer for both Fast Money and Mad Money with Jim Cramer. Prior to joining CNBC, Meyers worked at CNNfn, where he was a part of the launch of Open House. He has written for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Bond Buyer and CNBC.com.
As a society, we are obsessed with seemingly random numeric milestones: Dow 10,000. Obama's first 100 days. The 20th episode of 'Options Action.' (The last one might be a stretch, but for those keeping score, that would be May 29th). But one number that has grabbed everyone's attention is 30, or more specifically, the level the VIX broke through yesterday.
The last of the big tech earning will arrive on Tuesday, when Hewlett-Packard reports results. Currently the options market is pricing in a 6.5% move on the big day, which would be slightly more than the 6% move that the stock recorded over the last four quarters.
Options traders continue to hit the reset button on what is fast emerging as their favorite game: playing Electronic Arts for a takeover. On little news today, the May 21 and 22.5 calls are particularly active, with the 22.5 strike calls seeing 21,000 contracts trading hands.
On Friday's very fine episode of "Options Action," the fab five discussed how implied volatility was rich compared to realized volatility. More simply put, options traders were overpricing expected moves for stocks, which means if you had sold some of that volatility heading into earnings, you'd be sitting on some extra cash.
In minutes from now, Apple will release quarterly earnings. In what could be a preview of what's to come, AT&T reported results that topped expectations. The telecom giant added 1.2 million net new subscribers, with the company getting a heavy assist from Apple in the form of 1.6 million new iPhone accounts.
What to make of the relative strength of Morgan Stanley? The bank is set to report earnings on Wednesday, and on a day when the broader financials are off 11%, with Citigroup and Bank of America off a respective 19% and 24%, Morgan is hanging in there, down only 5%.