Amazon's Swipe at Etsy Inc Has Option Bears Cheering

Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) is tumbling today after Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched a rival website

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) is down 4.8% this morning at $13.51, after Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) threw a wrench in the company's business plan. Specifically, AMZN launched a marketplace for artisinal goods, called "Handmade at Amazon." Today's negative price action is just more of the same for ETSY, though, with the shares off 35.7% since the Aug. 3 open at $21.

Against this backdrop, option traders have been growing increasingly anxious toward the stock. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, ETSY's 10-day put/call volume ratio has jumped to 3.93 from 0.20 over the past two weeks.

During this same time frame, the security's December 22.50 put saw the biggest rise in open interest, and according to the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, a portion of this activity was of the buy-to-open kind. In other words, speculators are betting on ETSY to settle south of the $22.50 mark at the close on Friday, Dec. 18 -- when the options expire.

These deep in-the-money puts are currently asked at $10.50, making breakeven at expiration for put buyers $12.00 (strike less ask). This premium also represents the most the put buyer stands to lose, should ETSY close north of the strike at expiration.

This penchant for puts is being echoed in today's trading, with the contracts crossing at an accelerated pace. Most active is Etsy Inc's (NASDAQ:ETSY) out-of-the-money (OOTM) October 12.50 put, which is seeing a mix of buying and selling activity. Meanwhile, it appears new positions are being purchased at the security's deep OOTM March 5 put.

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