Investors roll positions on options expiration day

*Overall options action reflects cautious sentiment

*Traders roll bullish/bearish stock positions into Sept

*Action seen in Lennar, Best Buy and Saks

By Doris Frankel

CHICAGO, Aug 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Traders have been busy rolling
their bullish or bearish positions in stocks during Friday’s
monthly expiration of August options.

Many investors are rolling positions forward to September
expiration, when there is the quarterly expiration of equity
futures and options.

“With today being August options expiration, option traders
are busy rolling positions out to the next month, September,
either to extend a profitable position, or extend a losing
position in hopes of turning the trade into a winner,” said Joe
Kunkle, a founder of analytics firm OptionsHawk.com in Boston.

August options on individual stocks go off the board on
Friday after the close and settle on Saturday.

“During September expiration, investors typically reassess
their positions at the end of the third quarter and then make
their plans for the year-end and beyond,” said TD Ameritrade
chief derivatives strategist Joe Kinahan.

Overall options action seems to reflect cautious investor
sentiment after two weeks of losses for the stock market, said
WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy.

By 3:20 p.m. EDT, 6.74 million puts and 6.30 million calls
crossed the tape in the U.S. options market, according to
options analytics firm Trade Alert.

“The fact that the puts are outnumbering calls indicates
that investors have been stepping up their portfolio protection
and are concerned about the risk of additional losses in the
weeks ahead,” Ruffy said.

Kunkle noted some of Friday’s larger positions rolled:

*Flamel Technologies SA (FLML.O: ) where a monthly call
option roll of 8,713 August $5 calls to September $5 calls
resulted in 20 times the average daily call volume.

*Retailer Saks Inc’s (SKS.N: ) roll of 10,000 August $7.50
calls to November $7.50 calls, which extended a bullish bet in
the retailer.

*Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc’s (HOT.N: ) roll of
3,500 August $46 calls to September $47 calls with an investor
paying an additional $1.27 per contract to stay bullish.

*Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD’s (RCL.N: )
(RCL.OL: ) roll of 3,100 August $26 puts to 6,300 September $25
short puts, indicating limited downside.

*Natural gas provider Clean Energy Fuels Corp’s (CLNE.O: )
roll of 3,000 August $16 short puts to 3,000 September $15
short puts, which resulted in 12 times the daily average put
volume, suggesting limited downside in the shares.

*Comerica Inc’s (CMA.N: ) roll of 3,000 August $35 puts to
September $35 puts, which is an extension of a bearish bet in
the U.S. regional bank

*Lennar Corp’s (LEN.N: ) roll of 10,000 August $13 puts to
10,000 September $12 short puts, indicating limited downside in
the homebuilder ahead of key housing data next week.

*Semiconductor maker International Rectifier Corp’s (IRF.N: )
roll of 2,500 August $20 puts to September $20 puts, which was
25 times the daily put volume. This suggests a position that
maintains a bearish view ahead of its quarterly results due
next week.

*Electrical retailer Best Buy (BBY.N: ) has seen 10,000
August $31 puts rolled to 5,000 September $25 puts as shares
continue lower and more than 30,000 puts traded earlier in the
session, or five times the average daily volume.

*Mednax Inc (MD.N: ) traded 25 times the average put volume
as 1,165 August 50 puts are rolled to September 50 puts, a
position that maintains a bearish view on the medical services
firm.

An equity call conveys the right to purchase shares at a
fixed price up to a certain date while a put option grants the
right to sell shares at a fixed price any time until
expiration.

(Reporting by Doris Frankel, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Investors roll positions on options expiration day