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November 14, 2012  Wed 10:33 AM CT

SPY: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Total option volume is strong at more than 6.6 million contracts as hedging appears to be at the heart of the action in the indexes and ETFs, according to optionMONSTER's data systems.

The SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY) just tops 1 million contracts, led by 635,000 puts. Next up are the S&P 500 Index (SPX) options with 428,000 and a put/call ratio of more than 2 to 1.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) are next with 234,000 options, though in this name calls outpace slightly. The iShares Russell 2000 Fund (IWM) have 136,000 contracts changing hands, with 97,000 puts. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has 118,000 optoins, dominated by 82,000 calls.

The iShares China 25 Index Fund (FXI) options have turned over 81,000 times, with puts slightly outnumbering calls. The U.S. Oil Fund (USO) has 65,000 contracts moving, with 40,000 calls.
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As discussed last week, when using the Stock Replacement Strategy to replace a stock position to trade direction, we want to use an option that has very similar characteristics to the stock. We talked about using the deep in-the-money, 80 to 85 delta option that is similar in the Greeks and has relatively little extrinsic value which tends to work against us in stock directional trading.

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