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Option Volume Briefs: Silver Bulls Take a Short-Term Risk

SLV weekly option buyers active as metal hovers near peak

by 9/10/2012 1:29 PM
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With silver prices hovering near a multi-month peak, speculators are adjusting their bets on the iShares Silver Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:SLV - 32.46). Call volume is slightly outpacing the average daily pace, with more than 64,000 contracts trading hands so far today.

One notable block of 3,000 contracts traded at the ask price on the 9/14 weekly 33-strike calls. Overall volume exceeds open interest, indicating positions are being bought to open. This block was paired with a similarly sized block of September 30-strike calls, which traded close to the bid price.

It's possible the option trader is rolling existing long calls to a higher strike (to 33 from 30) and to a closer-dated expiration date (to this Friday versus September 21). The weekly options appear to have been purchased for $0.37, while the later-dated, in-the-money calls were sold for $2.72.

For the weekly options to be profitable at expiration, SLV will need to be trading above $33.37 (the strike price plus the premium paid). Below the strike price, losses top out at 100% of the premium paid. Above the breakeven price, gains are theoretically unlimited.


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