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Bank on Financials & Miners? Options Traders Think So: Stutland

Brian Stutland|President, Stutland Equities and CNBC Contributor
Tuesday, 18 Sep 2012 | 11:07 AM ET

Note: This post was written by Brian Stutland, President of Stutland Equities and a contributor to CNBC's "Options Action."

NYSE trader on Tablet
Getty Images
NYSE trader on Tablet

Monday's biggest options trades again involved the financial sector, as we saw traders continue to buy Bank of America call options.

The BAC Nov. 10 Calls saw 58,000 contracts exchanged in a trade above the ask for $0.33, and at the same time 52,772 BAC Nov. 9 calls traded above the ask at $0.77. This trade profits if Bank of America is above 10.06 at November expiration, which is a 8.2 percent move from yesterday's close.

Another large option trade involved the Financial Select Sector SPDR FundMonday: A trader sold 50,000 December 17 calls for $0.27 and also sold 25,000 December 16 puts for $0.61. This is a 2-by-1 short strangle profits when the stock remains range bound and implied volatility drops.

We suspect twice as many calls were sold as puts in order to flatten the trade's delta so that the position is a purer play on implied volatility dropping. This type of trade makes sense for someone who is long calls in a financial stock like BAC or JPMorgan and wants to hedge themselves in case those stocks do not move from current levels.

Outside of the financial sector, we saw unusual options activity in the mining sector.

One of the largest trades was the purchase of 61,000 Pan-American Silver Jan. 2014 50 calls for $0.60 with the stock at 20.85.

The net premium paid in this transaction was $3.66 million, and is a bet that the stock will be above 50.60 in January 2014. This would require a 142 percent move in the stock over the next 486 days. The company's primary business is mining silver ore in North and South America, and this trade is likely a bet that silver prices will rise in the coming year and benefit PAAS.

Brian Stutland is the President of Stutland Equities and a contributor to CNBC's "Options Action."

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