Blogging Options: CBOE Morning Update

Volatility as an asset class
Qualcomm (QCOM) is recently up 1c to $62.12 in the premarket after announcing a new $4B stock repurchase program that replaces the prior $3B stock repurchase program, which had $948M repurchase authority remaining and increasing its quarterly dividend by 16%. Overall option implied volatility of 26 is below its 26-week average of 30.

NutriSystem (NTRI) is recently down $1.47 to $10.41 in the premarket on seeing 2012 EPS 45c-55c, consensus 92c. Overall option implied volatility is at 67, April is at 43; compared to its 26-week average of 55.
Monster Worldwide (MWW) is recently up 53c to $8.05 in the premarket after announcing that it has retained Stone Key Partners and BofA Merrill Lynch as financial advisors in connection with its review of strategic alternatives, which was previously announced by the company on March 1. Overall option implied volatility of 60 is near its 26-week average of 58.

Stocks with significant put volume increases;
BAC 5/19/2012 7 9K contracts

KERX 3/17/2012 4 6K

AAPL 3/9/2012 535 5K

COP 5/19/2012 75 5K

SPPI 3/17/2012 13 5K

LOW 1/19/2013 12.5 5K

CBOE Volatility Index-VIX closed at 18.04, 10-day moving average is 17.76, 50-day moving average is 19.60.

U.S. equities are lower on growth uncertainties in Europe and China. Not much on U.S. economic front until tomorrow.