From Phil's Stock World:
XLF - Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 index are in positive territory today after ECB President Mario Draghi said policy makers will do what is necessary to preserve the euro. Shares in the XLF, although off their highs of the session, continue to trade up 1.2% on the day at $14.44 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York.
Draghi’s market-moving comments did not manage to make an optimist of one options player who appears to have pulled the trigger on a large position in XLF puts this morning just as the price of the underlying was reaching its highs for the day.
It looks like the trader is positioning for shares in the ETF to sustain double digit decline during the next few months by purchasing approximately 70,000 puts at the Oct. $13 strike for an average premium of $0.25 apiece. The bearish position may be profitable at expiration in the event XLF shares slide more than 11% to trade below the average breakeven price of $12.75. Though the transaction was not tied to stock, it is possible the put buyer is hedging a long position in shares of the XLF as opposed to taking an outright bearish stance on the financials. The cost of securing downside protection in the form of Oct. $13 puts is relatively cheaper to come by today with shares in the ETF up and the cost of the options down $0.08 since Monday.