Options Activity for Tuesday, July 20, 2010



I hope that your trading session is going well, as I know that members of S.O.M.E. are making the most of the market movements and their returns.

Options traders have set their sights on National Bank of Greece (NBG) and Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK) today, with volume rising well beyond the norm for both securities. While traders prefer put options on NBG, it's calls that are drawing a crowd to OSTK. National Bank of Greece (NBG)

Put volume has skyrocketed to nine times the usual level on NBG today, with roughly 1,700 contracts crossing the tape on the stock. Most active is NBG's August 2.50 put, where 1,671 contracts have changed hands -- 92% at the ask price, indicating they were purchased. Implied volatility has climbed 4.1 percentage points at last check, suggesting that traders are adding new bearish bets at the August 2.50 strike today. NBG shares are off nearly 3% this afternoon, fresh off a rejection from their 80-day moving average. The stock has swallowed a year-to-date drop of nearly 46%, and is now lingering near $2.75.



Overstock.com, Inc. (OSTK)

As for OSTK, calls are unusually popular today, with approximately 1,500 contracts changing hands. This represents about seven times the stock's expected daily call volume. Traders are concentrating their efforts at OSTK's August 17.50 call, which has seen 1,350 contracts cross the tape.

A block of 1,300 August 17.50 calls traded earlier at the ask price of $2.05, indicating they were most likely purchased. OSTK is currently hovering near $18, placing these calls narrowly in the money. Like NBG, the shares of OSTK recently endured a rejection from their formerly supportive 80-day moving average. Overall, though, OSTK is faring much better than NBG on the charts, having racked up a year-to-date gain of about 36%.



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