Total option volume is picking up with today's market selloff as 6.8 million contracts have already traded, according to optionMONSTER's data systems. Not surprisingly, the majority of the action in the indexes and ETFs appears to be hedging.
The SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY) has traded 1.3 million contracts, 902,000 of which are puts. The PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) has seen 293,000 options trade, including 178,000 puts. Not far behind are the S&P 500 Index (SPX) options at 268,000 with a put/call ratio of 2 to 1.
The iShares Russell 2000 Fund (IWM) has 248,000 options changing hands with a put/call ratio approaching 3 to 1. The SPDR Gold Shares Fund (GLD) has 158,000 contracts trading, with slightly more calls than puts. Just behind are the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) options at 150,000, with 84,000 calls.
The iShares Emerging Markets (EEM) contracts are just shy of 100,000, also with calls outpacing puts by 2 to 1. The iShares Silver Fund (SLV) has 93,000 options, with 58,000 calls. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Fund (VXX) has 85,000 options traded, 53,000 of which are calls.
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