Which Bank Has Options Traders Running Scared?

This blog post was written by OptionMonster's Chris McKhann.

Wells Fargo drew heavy put activity yesterday (Wednesday), as its stock hit a new 52-week low in intraday trading.

By midafternoon more than 460,000 contracts had changed hands, more than twice the 20-day average volume, with puts outpacing calls by 4 to 1. The action came in large blocks, with 6 of the 10 ten largest trades in WFC puts, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems.

  • Who Owns WFC?
  • WFC: The Insider Trading Trail

Most of the volume is less than the open interest, with the exception of the March 17 puts, where 20,000 were bought against open interest of roughly 12,000. This all does have a bearish bent to it, but much of it may be rolling of contracts out to later months.

WFC's stock hit a low of $12.06 yesterday but bounced back to close at $13.05. The shares were still down 4.6 percent on the day, on more than twice the normal trading volume. By midmorning today, the shares lost another 13 cents at $12.92.

Rival Money-Center Banks:

Toronto-Dominion Bank

JPMorgan Chase

Bank of America

The Bank of New York Mellon


Jon 'DRJ' Najarian is a professional investor, CNBC contributor, and cofounder of OptionMonster.com.