Market News

June 6, 2013  Thu 3:16 AM CT

As Sotheby's hovers below its March peaks, one investor is apparently afraid that it might crash.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring program detected the purchase of 1,250 June 36 puts for $0.45 and $0.50. The trader also sold a matching number of June 34 puts for $0.10 and $0.15 in volume below the previous open interest, which suggests an existing position was closed and rolled to the higher strike.

The investor probably owns shares in the auction company and is using the options as a protective hedge. By adjusting the position, he or she raised the minimum exit price on their stock from $34 to $36. Making the adjustment cost about $0.35. (See our Education section for more on how options can be used to manage risk.)

BID rose 0.56 percent to $37.85 yesterday. It traded for about $40 early March but then fell as the rest of the market climbed in subsequent months. Earnings have missed estimates in three of the last four quarters.

Overall option volume in the name was 2.5 times greater than average in the session, according to the Depth Charge. Puts accounted for two-thirds of the total.
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