Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Implied Volatility

OEX vs Equity Put/Call

OEX vs Equity Put/Call Ratio (Smart vs Dumb?)

A current negative for stocks is a spike in the OEX Put/Call Ratio.
A jump in this ratio means that traders have been busy trading put options on the S&P 100 index, the largest companies in the S&P 500.  These options are normally traded by more experienced traders.
With that put/call ratio high and the Equity Put/Call Ratio low, the spread between the two is at an extreme.  This is kind of a poor man’s proxy for smart money (OEX options) versus dumb money (equity options).
Such a wide disparity between the two has not been a good sign.
One mitigating factor now is that the Open Interest Ratio for OEX options isn’t at an extreme, meaning that there aren’t a whole lot more put options currently outstanding relative to call options.  At prior peaks, we usually saw both the OEX Put/Call Ratio and the Open Interest Ratio at extreme levels together.