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NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) is in the crosshairs of options traders today, with volume rising to nine times the usual level. For lightly traded NDAQ, that amounts to 442 calls and 3,254 puts crossing the tape in intraday action. The most active strike is the September 30 put, where 1,886 contracts have been exchanged.
Taking a closer look at this near-the-money strike, the vast majority of those September 30 puts have traded at the ask price. Implied volatility on this option is up 3.7 percentage points to 27.6%, and today's volume is easily outnumbering open interest of 993 contracts. As a result, it seems safe to assume that speculators are buying new bearish bets on NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ).
The volume-weighted average price (VWAP) on the September 30 put is $0.89, which means put buyers need NDAQ to close below breakeven at $29.11 (strike price minus VWAP) upon front-month expiration in order to turn a profit.
In today's session, the shares of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. are up 0.7% at $29.99, despite reports of a "hiccup" in the exchange's main data feed. This glitch comes right on the heels of a major Aug. 22 outage in the same feed.
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