Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Stocks to Watch Wednesday: Groupon Inc, Office Depot Inc, and Marathon Petroleum Corp

Analyzing GRPN, ODP, and MPC ahead of tomorrow's trading

by 2/25/2014 4:52 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Momentum names that made notable moves on Tuesday and could continue to do so into Wednesday's session include daily deals provider Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), office supplies retailer Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), and oil refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC). Here is a quick look at these stocks ahead of tomorrow's opening bell.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)

Groupon -- which suffered a major pullback following its fourth-quarter earnings report last Thursday -- picked itself back up today, closing the session 8.1% higher at $8.41. In the options pits, the equity has seen near-annual-high levels of call activity among short-term speculators of late, as the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.35 ranks just 1 percentage point from a 12-month low. This trend was evident in today's session, as well, during which calls outnumbered puts by a margin of almost 2-to-1. Not to mention, six of the 10 most active options of the day were calls that expire within the next seven-plus weeks.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP)

Office Depot's dismal fourth-quarter results sent the shares 8.8% into the red to close at $4.88. The retailer's intraday plunge of more than 14% landed it on the short-sale restricted list, causing a surge of activity in the equity's options pits. By the end of the session, more than 12,000 contracts had crossed the tape. That is more than three times the average daily volume. Most popular were options in the March and April series, which accounted for the nine most active strikes of the day.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC)

After gaining 2% today to perch at $89.89, Marathon Petroleum is now positioned 11.4% atop its Feb. 5 intraday low of $80.68. Meanwhile, in today's options pits, call volume on MPC soared to about three times the average daily amount, and outpaced puts by a margin of nearly 12-to-1. An overwhelming number of traders zeroed in on the March 92.50 call, where it appears the majority of contracts were bought to open. In other words, the option bulls expect MPC shares to surpass the $92.50 mark over the next three-plus weeks, something the stock hasn't done since hitting its all-time high of $92.73 in late March 2013.

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