The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total weekly options volume during the past 10 trading days. Those highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Among the stocks garnering attention lately are microblogging concern Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and iPhone titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which are popular among short-term option bulls today.
On the charts, both stocks have lagged the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) during the past couple of months. However, TWTR is flirting with a year-to-date gain of roughly 9%, and could topple its 60-day moving average for the first time since late October. This trendline contained the stock's pullbacks on several occasions in the latter half of 2014, so a close north could be significant. At last check, TWTR was up 3.2% at $39.04.
In the options pits, TWTR calls are running at nearly twice the average intraday clip, and are outpacing puts by a margin of more than 4-to-1. The equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has popped 3.5% to 69%, underscoring the growing appetite for short-term contracts.
Digging deeper, it looks like very short-term bulls are buying to open the weekly 1/23 39- and 40-strike calls, amid hopes for TWTR to continue its ascent -- and topple the strikes -- by tomorrow's close, when the weekly series expires. Slightly longer-term (yet definitely more aggressive) bulls are buying to open the weekly 2/13 50-strike calls, which will move into the money if TWTR conquers $50 -- territory not charted since late October -- by the close on Friday, Feb. 13. These options encompass Twitter's next earnings report, slated for release after the close on Thursday, Feb. 5.
TWTR has been to the earnings confessional four times, and has retreated in the subsequent session thrice. The stock's lone post-earnings victory came in late July, when TWTR skyrocketed 20% the day after reporting.
Today's affinity for bullish bets merely echoes the recent trend, though. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Twitter Inc's (NYSE:TWTR) 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.55 stands higher than 92% of all other readings from the past year.
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