Today’s tickers: MAS, IWM & WU
MAS - Masco Corp. – It’s up, up and away for shares in Masco this morning, with the stock up 14.5% on the session at a new four-year high of $20.36, following the maker of home improvement and building products strong fourth-quarter earnings report released after the close on Monday. The stock is up more than 80% since this time last year. Options traders positioning for further upside in the stock during the next few months snapped up some 415 calls at the April $22 strike at a premium of $0.25 per contract. Call buyers profit at April expiration should Masco Corp. shares increase another 9.3% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $22.25. Meanwhile, pre-earnings report bullish bets on MAS have resulted in substantial overnight paper profits for some traders today. It looks like traders purchased around 240 calls at the Feb. $18 strike for an average premium of $0.35 apiece yesterday. These contracts are currently changing hands at $2.60 apiece, a seven-fold increase over the price paid on Monday.
IWM - iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund – Shares in the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund rallied to a fresh multi-year high again this morning, increasing 0.40% in the early going to touch $91.10. The ETF has rallied more than 8.0% since the end of 2012, but a large options combination play initiated yesterday suggests one strategist is prepared for shares in the fund to pullback during the next six weeks. It looks like the trader purchased a 1-by-2-by-1 put butterfly spread, buying 50,000 puts at the both the Mar. 28 ’13 $82 and $88 strikes and selling 100,000 puts at the central Mar. 28 ’13 $85 strike, for a net premium outlay of $0.29 per contract. The large put ‘fly makes money if shares in the IWM slip 3.7% from Tuesday’s high of $91.10 to breach the breakeven point at $87.71, with maximum potential profits of $2.71 per contract available in the event that shares slide 6.7% to settle at…
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