E WhatsTrading Recap - 03/05/2015

Choppy trading continues and the S&P 500 clings to a modest 2.25-point gain heading into the final 40 minutes of trading Thursday. At 2100.78, the index is down 4.5 points on the week and heading into monthly jobs numbers Friday morning.

Treasury bonds are steady heading into the data and the yield on the benchmark ten-year remains near 2.1%. Crude oil is off 75 cents to $50.78 and gold is flat at $1200.

Energy (XLE) is lagging on weakness in crude. Basic materials (XLB), industrials (XLI), and tech (XLK) are also in the red. Utilities (XLU), financials (XLF), and healthcare (XLV) are areas of relative strength.

CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX) is off .13 to 14.10 amid another day of lackluster volume in the options market. Projected volume for the day is about 12 million contracts, as 5.7 million calls and 5 million puts traded across the exchanges.

The largest options trades of the day are in a small cap Canadian gold miner. Yep. An investor bought the Mar – Jun 2 put spread on IAM Gold (IAG), 108000X. The spread appears to be rolling a block of puts, probably a hedge, out to June from March.

Apple (APPL) Weekly (3/6) 127, 128, 129 and 130 calls are the next most active equity options du jour, as some upside call sellers might be covering positions on diminishing hopes for another rally in AAPL before the weekend. The stock is off $2.09 to $126.45.

Ford (F) Jan 15 puts, Petrobras (PBR) Mar 6 puts, and Williams Companies (WMB) Jan 60 calls are among today’s most actives as well.

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