TMO – Earnings Excitement in Some Small Names and Some Big VIX trades

1. VIX – 115K May 18/25 call spreads went up.  Two weeks ago there was a purchase of 150K Apr 20/25 call spreads.  Also someone bought 39K Apr 16 straddles and sold 28K Mar 16 straddles.  The Feb’s expired yesterday so volume was small into yesterday with people closing up positions, but picked up today.

2. GLD – an average volume day, but large trade of 10,480 May 172/188 call spreads, opening.

3. SPY – Mar 125 puts traded 37500 times and the Mar 135 puts traded 75000 times, looks like buying the 135′s and selling the 125′s so a reverse 1×2 or perhaps taking it off.

4. GRPN – had double the option volume today and high call to put ratio with an upgrade to Buy at Sterne Agee.

5. CSTR – 24K options trading.  Stock was up 3% and IV30 up four points.  I didn’t see specific news.  Looks like there was a buyer of 1800 Mar 60 straddles.

6. WFT – Weatherford International, having to do with oil and natural gas drilling – buyer of 20K Apr 14/16 call spreads and seller of 20K Apr 11 puts, a call spread risk reversal.  This is a very bullish position.

7. PCS- Feb/Apr 9 call spread traded 14K times.  Probably someone rolling out to a later expiration.

8. PRLB – Protolabs,  has to do with 3D printers which were apparently mentioned in the state of the union as the Pentagon has money in that arena.  Stock had good earnings this morning and is up $11.  Over 5K options have traded versus 100 average.  DDD and SSYS which both have earnings coming up in the next few weeks were also up with high option volume.

9. TRIP – fun stuff with earnings after the bell.  The market is pricing about a 10% move.  20K options have traded on the day versus an average under 3K.  More puts than calls trading with the Mar 46/42 put spread going up about 1400 times.

10. VCLK, NVDA, NTAP, Z – all very high option volume with earnings after the bell.

11. XLF – 37958  June 18 calls traded