Options Action

Man Down: MF Global Joins Netflix, Falls 40% Today

Forget Netflix and Reed Hastings for a second. There's another stock down 40% today with an equally celebrated CEO: MF Global .

The stock's in freefall on an earnings miss and concerns over European exposure. With over $6 billion in non-Greek Euro debt on its books, it's little wonder the commodities broker is trading well below its $7 book value.

Options traders have taken an even dimmer view, with over 4000 of the November 2-strike puts being purchased before noon today for $0.50 each.

It's been a poor turn of events for company CEO John Corzine. The former New Jersey Governor and Goldman Sachs CEO has seen MF shares plunge over 70% since taking over in March of 2010.

"Clearly he misjudged how difficult the turnaround would be," said Macquarie's Ed Ditmire (Neutral).

The fate of the firm now rests with the ratings agencies. Moody's downgraded MF Global to just one notch above junk yesterday. And according some market participants, further downgrades could spell severe trouble for the firm.

Said Patrick O'Shaughnessy of Raymond James (Outperform): "If they don't keep their investment grade rating, it becomes a vicious cycle of lowered earnings and higher funding costs."

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