Retail, KBW Bank ETF Protection, ISE Sentiment Index Volatility (ISEE, KBE, XRT, IWM)

As the market keeps running after breaking above that 115 (SPY) ceiling resistance level (remember on 2/21/2010 Goldman strategist Abby Cohen said S&P fair value was between 1250-1300?), once $SPX crossed above 1,150 resistance it welcomed 1200+ where it's trading at today (1,212). Since we are near "fair value" according to Goldman, I'm watching the stock insurance market aka put options.

Courtesy of the Options Activity Watch at, there appears to be protective positioning in the Retail ETF (XRT) and KBW Bank ETF (KBE).  At 3:00p XRT is at 44 and KBE is at 28.32.
"SPDR KBW Bank (SPDR_Series_Trust/Specialty-Financial) - KBE:  "One options strategist sold 28,260 May 29 calls for $0.58 per contract (bid:0.55 ask:0.70) and purchased 28,260 May 27 puts for $0.40 per contract (bid:0.30 ask:0.40)"
"SPDR S P Retail (SPDR_Series_Trust/SPDR_Series_Trust) - XRT:  32,500 Sep 40 puts were purchased for an average premium of $1.40 per contract against the sale of 32,500 Sep 34 puts for $0.40, a net cost of $1.00 per spread."

On my International Stock Exchange (ISE) widget on the right sidebar, XRT had the lowest ISEE ratio (call/puts opened) and IWM was second with 84,406 calls and 2,806 puts as of 1:30pm est.  Who knows why the IWM puts were opened, if insurance or speculative.

The full ISE Sentiment Index (ISEE Index), which measures call/put data on all securities on the ISE, has been volatile.  On 4/13/2010 the ISEE ratio was at 78 and the next day it hit 165.  "ISEE is computed by dividing opening long call options bought by customers by opening long put options bought by customers".  Last year I analyzed how the S&P traded off the ISEE index here.

ISEE Index Chart courtesy of

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