From the IB options desk:
AIG – American International Group, Inc. – Investors displayed what can only be described as options-mania today as more than 411,000 contracts (and rising) were traded on the stock by lunchtime. Shares have exploded upwards by more than 28% to stand at the current price of $48.46. Option implied volatility, or the measure of investor uncertainty, jumped up from 114% at the opening bell to the current reading of 150%. Near-term uber-bulls were observed purchasing more than 7,500 calls as high as the September 70 strike price for an average premium of 1.20 apiece. The call premium at that strike – the highest strike price listed for the stock – has nearly doubled during the trading session. Early-bird rewards were apparent as traders who acted first thing this morning (around 10:30 am EDT) were able to purchase the same calls for just 36 cents each. Another trade of note was a bullish reversal established in the November contract. An investor shed 7,500 puts at the November 27 strike price for a premium of 2.50 apiece in order to partially finance the purchase of 7,500 calls at the higher November 55 strike for 4.10 each. The net cost of purchasing the calls was reduced to 1.60. Thus, this individual will begin to realize profits if AIG continues higher by 17% to breach the breakeven point at $56.60 by expiration in November.