Blogging Options: CBOE Morning Update

Volatility as an asset class
UnitedHealth (UNH) is up 59c to $57.72 in the premarket after announcing the acquisition of 90% of Amil for $4.9B in cash and seeing Q3 EPS to be at least $1.45. Overall option implied volatility of 23 is below its 26-week average of 25.

Wal-Mart (WMT) and American Express (AXP) announced the launch of Bluebird, an alternative to debit and checking accounts designed to help consumers better manage and control their everyday finances. WMT overall option implied volatility of 14 and AXP’s of 22 is below their 26-week averages.

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 14.33, below its 10-day moving average of 15.32 and 50-day MA of 15.62.

Calls with increasing volume at CBOE;

BAC 10/20/2012 10 18K contracts
AAPL 10/5/2012 660 17K
SPY 11/17/2012 152 11K
GM 10/20/2012 25 10K
AIG 1/19/2013 35 10K

U.S. stocks are lower as World Bank predicts Asian economic growth weakness (2012 GDP forecast for China lowered to 7.7% from 8.2% and 2013 down to 8.1% from 8.6%). Nikkei only exchange higher in Asia or Europe, up 0.4%. Semi-holiday trading day as US bond market closed today. Alcoa kicks off Q3 earnings season tomorrow.