Andrew Keene

Andrew Keene

Andrew Keene was an independent equity options trader on the Chicago Board Options Exchange for 11 years. He spent most of that time as a market maker in over 125 stocks, including Apple, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and Yahoo. From 2006-2009, Andrew was the biggest, independent on-the-floor Apple trader in the world. Currently, Andrew is actively trading futures, equity options, currency pairs and commodities.

No Comments

Risk Reversal in FIO

Utah-based flash memory manufacturer Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO, $11.32, up $0.10 yesterday) popped 20% in a single day this past September, following Western Digital’s (WDC) acquisition of Virident and investor speculation that FIO could be next.  Shares traded to nearly $16, but pulled back below $10 in November and are now trading at a more modest [...]

No Comments

Endeavour Earnings and Europe

Endeavour International Corporation (NYSE: END, $5.12, up $0.26) is an oil and gas company specializing in the exploration, development, and acquisition of energy resources, with operations concentrated in the continental United States and in North Sea area of the United Kingdom. Shortly after 1 PM CST in Monday’s session, we saw a trader come in [...]

No Comments

Yes SIR, Buying Calls Sir

Select Income REIT (NYSE: SIR, $29.15, up $0.73) is a real estate investment trust owning 48 properties, including 11 leased land areas in Hawaii and 37 commercial properties across the mainland United States.  SIR stock has generally performed well, and is up 30% from its March 2012 IPO price. Earlier today with SIR trading below [...]

No Comments

Call “Stupid” in AVNR

For the second time this week, we see heavy call buying in a pharmaceutical name. Avanir Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AVNR, $3.97, up $0.13) specializes in developing medication for the treatment of neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and has several products in Phases II and III of FDA testing.

No Comments

Busy Session Kicks Off the Week

After last week’s shortened holiday week, the market is off to a strong start in the first part of Monday’s session.  The SPX traded up over 20 points, with a P/C ratio of around 1.5. We saw a large buyer of Endo Health Solutions (Nasdaq: ENDP, $79) calls.  The Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company specializes in the [...]

No Comments

Trader Takes a Huge Volatility Position in ELN

Elan Corporation (ELN, $14.45, up $0.35) announced their Q2 earnings this morning and stated a profit that exceeded expectations from Wall Street. The company discussed how their EPS increased to $4.28, which beat analyst estimates by $0.02. Their earnings were largely impacted by the transaction of the blockbuster drug Tysabri, which was a significant portion [...]

No Comments

Getting Short PBF

PBF Energy Inc. or (PBF, $22.63, up $0.46) refines petroleum along with supplying transportations fuels, petrochemical feedstocks, heating oils, lubricants and other products within the U.S. PBF Energy is able to make these products in its refineries and then sells their products throughout parts of the United States as well as some regions in Canada. [...]

One Comment

Talisman Energy (TLM), Overview and Trade

Talisman Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TLM, $11.30, off $0.07) is a global gas and oil production company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. TLM used to be the Canadian portion of British Petroleum but sold 57% of its shares to the public in 1992 and was eventually re-branded as Talisman Energy Inc. It is the largest independent oil [...]

No Comments

Trader Takes $780,000 Call Position in the EWJ

iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSEARCA:EWJ) is an ETF made up of stocks that are primarily traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. EWJ tracks the MSCI Japan, which is an index that measures the performance of the Japanese equity market. The ETF has a relatively low volatility with a beta rating of .74 and a dividend [...]

No Comments

Trader Gets Short TXRH

Texas Roadhouse Inc (TXRH, $25.31), owns 320 restaurants with an additional 72 that are franchised and or licensed. TXRH has a 52-week range between $15.72-$25.99. On the year the stock is up 48.42% and over a 12-month period TXRH is up 40.16%. The company has grown 46% within the last six months, which is surprising [...]

No Comments

Trader Getting Long APOL on the Sell-Off

APOL ($17.72, off 1.66 on 9.34 mm shares), one of the world’s largest providers of education and training services  on-campus and on-line with a market cap of about $2.0 billion, is currently experiencing a setback in demand and consequently net income. Though its Q3 net revenue at $946.8 million increased 13.47% from last quarter, this [...]

No Comments

Huge VIX Call Buyer Today

VIX is the ticker symbol for the Volatility Index owned and managed by the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE). The Big Institutional VIX Trade Straight from the floors of the CBOE: VIX options were very active this morning.  With the Cash VIX showing a last price of 19.43 and the August VIX Future at [...]

No Comments

Huge Vix Call Buyer Today

Institutional Order straight from the CBOE’s VIX Pit earlier this morning: A customer bought 30,000 VIX July 21 Calls for $1.075 Lets break down this trade: Risk: $107.50 per 1 lot Reward: Unlimited Breakeven: $22.075 (excludes transaction costs) Cash Outlay: $3,225,000 Greeks of this Trade: Delta: Long Gamma: Long Theta: Short Vega: Long Cash VIX [...]

No Comments

The VIX and the Summer Doldrums

CBOE Market Volatility Index (INDEXCBOE:VIX) is a world-renowned measure of implied volatility which has seen several gains in the past few weeks. However, with the summer quickly approaching, it could get ugly soon. An early signal of trouble was seen on Wednesday when the markets were the most volatile we have seen all year and [...]

No Comments

Vix More Upside Direction?

I watch all the unusual options activity and often watch the volume in the VIX to help my trading.  Today, paper (hedge fund, mutual fund, retail bank, or big trader) bought 20,000 VIX May 18-23 Bull Call Spreads for $.42. Lets break down this trade:

No Comments

Has the VIX Finally Bottomed?

Paper (a hedgefund, mutual fund, retail bank or BIG trader) initiated a 3 way trade in VIX Options earlier today. They bought 35,000 VIX April 17-18 Bull Call Spreads and sold 35,000 April 13 Puts for even money. The reasong behind this 3-way trade might be that they feel the VIX (cash VIX closed today [...]

No Comments

VIX Credit Spread With April Options

Paper (an order from a hedge fund, mutual fund, retail bank, or big trader) sold 3500 CBOE’s Vix April 20-26 Bear Call Spreads for $.325. Lets check out a breakdown of this trade: Trade: Selling April 20-26 Bear Call Spread for $.325 (selling the April 20 VIX call and buying the April 26 VIX call). [...]

No Comments

Is the VIX Expecting More Upside in April?

A broker in the CBOE’s Vix Pit bought 5,000 April 17 Calls for $1.725and possible more Upside in the Vix in the future. The brokerrepresents an order from a hedge fund, mutual fund, retail bank, orbig trader. Lets give a little breakdown of the trade. Trade: Bought 5000 April 17 Calls for $1.725 Risk: $172.50 [...]

No Comments

Interesting VIX Trade

Early this afternoon, Paper bought 20,000 VIX March 25-30 Bull Call Spreads for a $0.425 debit, when the March Futures were trading $18 even. Paper is an order from a hedge fund, mutual fund, retail bank, or big trader. Lets breakdown this trade: The Trade:  Bought 20,000 VIX March 25 Calls Sold 20,000 VIX March [...]

No Comments

Interesting Order in VIX Options

One of the bigger trades to come from the CBOE’s VIX Pit today was Paper (professional) buying 20,000 Jan 17 Puts for $.40 when the VIX was trading 20.40 (and VIX Jan futures near 20.32) Breakdown of the Trade: Risk: $40 per 1 lot potential Reward: $1660 per 1 lot (with VIX at zero) Total [...]

No Comments

VIX Ratio Spread Today

With the VIX trading at 15.75, I noticed the following spread in the VIX pit: Paper (an institutional client) bought 8,000 December 16-15 1×2 Put Spreads for a cost of $.075 They bought 8,000 December 16 strike VIX puts and sold 16,000 December 15 puts. Why would they initiate this trade? Investor thinks the VIX [...]

No Comments

VIX Trade of the Day

This trade was done a little earlier today. At 2:00pm CST the VIX Cash was trading at 15.40, off 1.01. December VIX Futures were at 16.85, down 1.35. An Institutional client bought 35,000 of the VIX December 16 – 23 Call Vertical Spreads (bought the 16 strike call, sold the 23 strike) for $1.50. December [...]

No Comments

Large VIX Trade at CBOE

The biggest trade that we saw today from the CBOE’s VIX pit was a broker buying for a customer 35,000 Nov 20-30 Call Spreads for $0.78. November VIX Expiration is Wednesday, November 21st. VIX closed today at 18.42, November VIX futures closed 18.10.

No Comments

Bullish Customer VIX Trade Today

With the CBOE Vix November Futures trading 18.35 (higher than Cash VIX near 17.90), we saw a large order in the CBOE’s Vix Pit. An institutional customer bought 18,000 CBOE Vix November 21 Strike Calls for $1.225. Lets break this trade down: Trade: Buying the Vix Nov 21 Calls for $1.225 Directional Stance: Bullish Risk: $122.50 [...]

No Comments

Bullish VIX November Call Spread Goes Up

As of mid-day, today’s biggest trade in the VIX was the Nov 22-25 Call Spread. An institutional client bought 20,000 VIX Nov 22 calls and sold 20,000 VIX November 25 strike calls, the bullish spread costing $0.30. Let’s breakdown this trade: Trade: Bought the VIX Nov 22-25 Call Spread for $0.30 debit (20,000 times, or [...]

No Comments

Interesting VIX Trade Today

VIX options traded roughly 1/2 million contracts today. A large VIX trade drew my interest. It was the January 25 – 20 VIX Put Credit Spread. It accounted for approximately 20% of VIX volume. The VIX January Futures closed today at 19.99 – up 0.79 for the day. Spot VIX closed at 17.06, up 2.03 [...]

No Comments

VIX Put Ratio Spread with October Options

Earlier today, I saw an interesting ratio spread in VIX options at the CBOE. The trade was the VIX Oct 20-17 1×2 Put Spread. Paper (hedge fund, retail bank, mutual fund or big trader) Sold 1000 VIX Oct 20 puts and bought 2000 Oct 17 strike puts for a $1.65 credit. Let’s break down this [...]

No Comments

$YUM Earnings Trade

Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM $66.50, off $0.44) develops, operates, and franchises restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Analysts are bullish, majority expecting YUM to outperform the market, but the stock looks as if it is consolidating in the short-term as the 150 and 200 day moving averages have caught up to the spot [...]

No Comments

Phillips 66 Spurts Higher – Trade of the Day

Phillips 66 (PSX, $46.83), a holding company engaged in producing natural gas liquids and petrochemicals, is up about a $1.50 three hours into trading today. The stock is trading in a 52-week range of $28.75 and $48.22. Trading now only about a dollar below the 12-month high, the stock has not seen a significant downturn [...]

No Comments

ACN Earnings Trade

Today’s earnings play is Accenture, a management consulting,technology services and outsourcing company. Accenture stock, ACN, is currently trading at $64.82, up $0.42 a half hour into trading today.The stock has about a $16 dollar 52-week range with a low of $50.34and a high of $66.75. The stock surged in at the beginning of thisyear, and [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day – Bearish This Week on AA

Trade of the Day: Selling the AA July 13th weekly 8 strike, buying the 9 strike Call Vertical Spread for $.57 Profitable: I make money on this trade if AA closes under $8.57 on July 13 , 2012. Break-even: I break-even on this trade if AA closes at $8.57 on July 13, 2012. Unprofitable: I [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day – AAPL Put Credit Spread

AAPL was trading at $502.60, an all-time high, near Monday’s close. Trade: Selling the AAPL Jan 2013 450-400 Put Credit Spread for $16.00 total.  Profitable: I make money on this trade if AAPL Closes above $434 on January 18, 2013. Break-even: I break-even on this trade if AAPL Closes at $434 on January 18, 2013. Unprofitable: This trade is [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day

Trade: I bought the FTR May 4 Strike Call for $0.55.  Profitable: I make money on this trade if FTR Closes above $4.55 by May 18, 2012. Break-even: I break-even on this trade if FTR Closes at $4.55 by May 18, 2012. Unprofitable: This trade is unprofitable if FTR Closes under $4.55 by May 18, 2012. The most I [...]

No Comments

Buying On Semiconductors (ONNN) Jan 7.50 Calls for $0.70

Breakdown: I bought the ONNN January $7.50 Calls for $0.70. Profitable – I make money on this trade if ONNN closes above $8.20 by January 20, 2012. Break-even – I break-even on this trade if ONNN closes at $8.20 by January 20, 2012. Unprofitable – If ONNN closes under $8.20, this trade will be unprofitable. The most I can lose is $0.70 [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day – JOYG December Credit Spreads

JOYG ($88.64) is expected to announce earnings on Wed, December 14th, two days before December expiration. Breakdown: I sold the JOYG December 90-87.5 Put Credit Spread and 90-92.5 Call Credit Spread for $2.30 total. Profitable – I make money on this trade if JOYG closes between $87.70 and $92.30 by December 16, 2011. Break-even – I break-even on this [...]

No Comments

VXX in a Trading Range

Breakdown: I sold the VXX December 40-39 Put Spread and 50-51 Call Spread for a total credit of $.65 Profitable – I make money on this trade if VXX closes between $39.35 and $50.65 by December 16, 2011. Break-even – I break-even on this trade if VXX closes at $39.35 or $50.65 by December 16, 2011. Unprofitable – If VXX closes [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day

SINA Corporation (SINA – $86.20) is expected to announce Quarterly Earnings today after the close. Breakdown: I sold SINA November 11th (weekly) 85-87.5 Strangle (sold the 85 strike put and sold the 87.5 strike call) and bought 80-92.5 (weekly) Strangle for $3.65 total (excludes transaction costs). Profitable – I make money on this trade if SINA closes between $81.35 and [...]

No Comments

Bullish CSCO Earnings Play

Cisco Systems (CSCO, $17.90) is expected to announce earnings after the close on Wednesday November 9th. Breakdown: I bought the CSCO November (weekly) 18-19 Call Spread, and sold the November 17 (weekly) Puts for $0.04 Total (debit). Profitable – I make money on this trade if CSCO above $18.04 by November 11, 2011. Break-even – I breakeven on this [...]

No Comments

LNKD Bearish Position

Breakdown: I bought the LNKD November 90-70 Put Spread for $6.50. Profitable – I make money on this trade if LNKD closes under $83.50 by November 18, 2011. Break-even – I breakeven on this trade if LNKD closes at $83.50 by November 18, 2011. Unprofitable – If LNKD closes above $83.50 by November 18, 2011 then I [...]

No Comments

Selling a GOOG Iron Condor Into Earnings Tonight

Breakdown: I sold the Google, October 14th (Weekly, expires tomorrow) 580-585 Call Spread and 530-525 Put Spread for $3.10 total. Profitable – I make money on this trade if GOOG closes between $526.90-$583.10 by the close of trading tomorrow, October 14st, 2011.  Break-even – I breakeven on this trade if GOOG closes at $526.90 or $583.10 by tomorrow. Unprofitable – [...]

No Comments

XLF Puts – An inexpensive play to the Downside

Breakdown: I bought the XLF ($12.85) October 13 Puts Friday for $.72. Profitable – I make money on this trade if XLF closes under $12.28 by October 21, 2011. Breakeven – If XLF closes at $12.28 by October expiration. Unprofitable – If XLF closes above $13 I can only lose the maximum amount I bought these puts for, $.72. The reason I like this [...]

No Comments

McDonald’s (MCD) Bullish Call Vertical Spread

Breakdown: I bought the MCD January $82.50 Calls and sold the Jan $87.50 Calls for $2.60 total. Profitable – I make money on this trade if MCD closes above $85.10 on January 21, 2012. Breakeven – If MCD closes at $85.10 by January expiration. Unprofitable – If MCD closes below $85.10 by January expiration, then I lose the [...]

No Comments

Trade of the Day

The Trade: Yesterday I sold the SPY September 125-127 Call Spread and bought the 115-112 Put Spread for a total of $.10 Debit. Breakdown:  Profitable – I make money on this trade if SPY trades under $114.90 by September 16, 2011. The maximum gain, $2.90, is reached if the SPY closes below 112 at expiration. Breakeven – If SPY closes at [...]

No Comments

Re-visiting My HPQ September 30 Straddle Sale Yesterday

The trade: Yesterday I sold the HPQ September 30 Straddle for $4.13. Managing the Trade: The Good: I sold this HPQ straddle for $4.13, and it seemed as if traders anticipated earnings would be good (they were, beating estimates by $0.01). By the close yesterday, the straddle got crushed to $3.15. It could have been closed for ~ [...]

No Comments

Getting Long Google For A Discount Tuesday August 16

We’d like to welcome Andrew Keene to our community. Andrew has been an independent equity options trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange for the past 10 years. He spent most of that time as a market-maker in over 125 stocks, including Apple, GE, Sears Holdings, and Goldman Sachs. Currently, Andrew is actively trading futures, [...]