Sunday, May 19, 2013

$SPY May 165 Puts Active, Put/Call Ratio and SVI Moving Higher With $SPY (Hyperinflation Volatility Ahead?)

The S&P 500 ETF ($SPY) closed at $166.94 on Friday, a new high. We haven't seen a correction in a while, so I was wondering if a portion of those 135,000 SPY May $165 puts that traded on Friday with 43,921 of open interest were positioning for potential downside next week. The contract closed at $0.49, down 53%, and expires on Friday, May 24. I also saw that 75,000 SPY $166 puts traded with 17k open, and 75,000 SPY $167 calls traded with 24k open (via optionmonster), so it could have been part of a spread. SPY's May 165 put had the largest amount of open interest when looking at the near-the-money strikes.

I'm reading that 165 is an important level to hold, so put options are probably protecting against volatility at that level. Here is my chart showing the near-term uptrend line and 165-166 support.

Source: StockCharts.com

There are a few catalysts next week that could move the market (see the full calendar here). On Wednesday at 10am EST, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks in front of the Joint Economic Committee, and at 2:00pm EST, the FOMC releases the minutes of its April 30/May 1 meeting.

What's interesting is SPY's put/call ratio has been rising with $SPY since May 7 via Schaeffer's Research.

Source: Schaeffer's Research

And SPY's SVI (Schaeffer's Volatility Index) has been rising with SPY since May 3. So are SPY's options preparing for some S&P hyperinflation volatility ahead?

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