Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. One name of notable interest this afternoon is JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of a few Dow components trading in the green today, with the equity up 0.3% at $58.26. In spite of this, put volume has soared to more than three times the average intraday pace thus far. A pair of large blocks totaling 6,000 January 2014 55-strike puts have traded at the ask price earlier, and appear to have been initiated by a shareholder as a hedge.
Meanwhile, shorter-term speculators are targeting the weekly 1/3 57.50-strike puts. A healthy portion of the 4,123 contracts exchanged here have gone off at the ask price. Implied volatility has soared 9.4 percentage points, and volume is outpacing current levels of open interest, hinting at the initiation of a fresh batch of bearish bets. Although JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) was trading south of the strike price as recently as Dec. 20, the options market isn't too confident the put will be in the money at tomorrow's close. At last check, delta for the put was perched at negative 0.18, or 18%.