IB Options Brief: Jefferies Group, Inc. (JEF)
JEF – Jefferies Group, Inc.
Put options are active on Jefferies today ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Shares in the global securities and investment banking firm are currently hovering near their session low, down 1.6% to stand at $15.46 as of 12:20 p.m. ET. Jefferies popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning after at least one options player initiated a sizable near-term bearish stance on the stock.
It looks like traders exchanged more than 5,400 puts at the Sep. $15 strike against previously existing open interest of 967 contracts. Most of the puts in play appear to have been purchased at a premium of $0.15 apiece, perhaps as some strategists prepare for the price of the underlying to extend losses this week.
Traders may be taking an outright bearish stance on the stock, or could be securing downside protection to hedge a long position in JEF shares. Profits, or downside protection, kick in if shares in the financial services firm decline 4% from the current level to breach the breakeven price of $14.85 at expiration. Shares in Jefferies, which hit a six-month low of $11.59 in July, have since gained more than 30% to trade at their highest since the first week in May.
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