It's been a rough couple of years for Bank of America Corp (BAC - 7.73), with the shares embarking on a downhill roller-coaster ride beneath their 10-week and 80-week moving averages. What's more, the security has underperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 18% during the past 60 sessions. Nevertheless, it looks like one speculator may be employing options to replicate owning BAC shares.
Earlier today, two blocks of 4,000 contracts crossed at the January 2013 7.50 strike -- one on the call side, and one on the put side. The calls changed hands for the ask price of $1.30, suggesting they were bought, while the puts traded for the bid price of $1.10, implying they were likely sold. Assuming the options are being opened, the speculator established a synthetic long stock position for a net debit of $0.20 per pair of options.
By employing this strategy, the trader's profit will increase in parity with each step BAC takes north of $7.70 (strike plus net debit) over the next several months -- similar to that of a BAC shareholder. Meanwhile, the strategist will forfeit the premium paid, should BAC finish between $7.50 and $7.70 when the LEAPS expire.
Again, just like a long stock position, the investor's losses will steepen the further BAC retreats from the $7.50 level. However, the primary advantage to the synthetic strategy is the initial cost, as the options trader gained control of 100 shares for just $0.20 per pair of contracts, as opposed to the roughly $773 it would cost to purchase that much of the stock today.
From a broader sentiment standpoint, BAC is no stranger to optimistic attention in the options pits. In fact, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) currently sits at 0.52, indicating that calls nearly double puts among options set to expire within three months. What's more, this ratio ranks in the 10th percentile of its annual range, implying that near-term options traders have been more call-heavy just one-tenth of the time during the past year.
Looking at the soon-to-be front-month July series, the near-the-money 8 strike is the clear-cut home to peak call open interest, with almost 145,000 contracts in residence. Meanwhile, the July 9 strike houses a noteworthy 71,921 calls outstanding. In the short term, this abundance of bullish bets -- along with the aforementioned 10-week moving average -- could translate into a layer of options-related resistance.
Mid-Caps Nearing a Triple of March 2009 Lows
Featured Partners: AOL DailyFinance
© 2013 Schaeffer's Investment Research, Inc. 5151 Pfeiffer Road, Suite 250, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
Phone: (800) 448-2080 FAX: (513) 589-3810 Int'l Callers: (513) 589-3800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.
Market Data provided by QuoteMedia.com | Data delayed 15-20 minutes unless otherwise indicated.