Citigroup Options

Citigroup has recently done a 10-1 reverse split. This has reduced the volume on the stock by nearly 90% and the effect on options has likely been similar. I have written many times about how I was worried that Citigroup options were skewing the put/call ratios. Its possible that we will now get better readings out of the put/call ratios, but also that the range of readings will differ.

When Citigroup traded under $5 many times hundreds of thousands of Citigroup options would trade in a day and the trading was often  biased to the call side. Those options were worth pennies so they did not represent large commitments, but this had a large effect on the entire put/call ratio. I have found the put/call ratios to be less useful after the financial crisis than I did before.

The reason I write this is because I was thinking about my earlier piece and the charts I posted along with them. On the ISE equity we are seeing more put buying than we did during the Japanese disaster and on the CBOE equity we are seeing nearly as much. But the panic back then was palpable. This is not the case now and I am wondering if the difference is the Citigroup options.

In the long run I believe the elimination of massive volume in Citigroup options will make the put/call ratios much more useful. In the short run the range that the put/call ratio trades in might change and using the put/call ratios will be a little trickier.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good point. The VIX isn't shiwing much fear relative to March when it traded above 31!

Tsachy Mishal said...

I know you like the CBOE equity only, but you seem to be ignoring it. Wondering why?

Anonymous said...

I'm not ignoring it. I agree the market's oversold, but by a small margin. I don't sense much fear though and while I follow the CBOE put/call closely, as you said It hasn't been a great indicator for a spell here. I'm essentially flat. Don't like the risk/reward set up here.

Tsachy Mishal said...

I hope you didnt take the question as an attack. Was just wondering. Sometimes tone doesnt come through well in writing.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not. I like the input. I'm clueless as to the next tradable move. I find the indicators I follow get hot and cold. I think QE2 made sentiment indicators quite unworkable. I hope the end of QE2 will make them tradable going forward.