We saw sizable put buying before the Thanksgiving holiday in a semiconductors exchange traded fund that typically does not have a ton of trading activity in the options.
SOXX (iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector) puts have been snapped up in recent sessions as the sector has fallen sharply, and notably lags the broader Nasdaq market, losing 15.08% year to date versus the Nasdaq-100 down 2.14%.
Top holdings of SOXX include bellwether semi names including INTC, TXN, AMAT, BRCM, and TSM. Related names in the semi space that are worth watching closely in the near term include PSI (PowerShares Dynamic Semi), SMH (Semi HOLDRS) and XSD (SPDR S&P Semi).
There also exist a number of leveraged ETFs in the semiconductor arena that may be especially active given the heavy activity in the options markets, as traders may look to embrace short term trading opportunities on either side of the market even for hedging purposes if not for outright speculation.
SOXS (Direxion Daily Semi Bear 3X) and SOXL (Direxion Daily Semi Bull 3X) are designed to deliver 3 times the daily leveraged returns on the bear and bull side of the PHLX Semi Index.
Similarly, SSG (ProShares UltraShort Semi) and USD (ProShares Ultra Semi) deliver 2 times the daily leveraged returns (bear/bull) but track the Dow Jones U.S. Semi Index, which has a different composition than the PHLX Semi Index.
iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector