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Three names seeing notable option activity today are alternative energy issue First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and oil refiner Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO). Here's a look at how today's option traders have been placing their bets on these three names.
- First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has tacked on 1.6% this afternoon to trade at $71.31, after announcing plans to build the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Latin America. Against this backdrop, calls are running at an above-average pace -- though the stock's 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) hit a 52-week low of 39.8% earlier. Diving deeper, traders appear to be buying to open FSLR's weekly 7/3 72.50-strike call.
- Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is up 2.1% at $77.00, as the gaming sector rises on rumors of an industry-wide expansion in Asia. Elsewhere, intraday call volume more than doubles the expected amount, and the equity's 30-day ATM IV has jumped 1.7% to 27.9%, signaling elevated demand for short-term options. In terms of specifics, the in-the-money July 77.50 put is LVS' most active strike, and is seeing buy-to-open activity, as traders bank on a near-term pullback in the shares.
- Finally, Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) has popped over 2% today and currently hovers around $52.44, as the shares attempt to recover from yesterday's 8.3% dive. Those losses weren't limited to VLO, as most U.S. refiners got hit on the government's decision to export oil for the first time in 40 years. In any case, Valero earned a place on the short-sale restricted list on Wednesday, and remains there this afternoon. In the stock's options pits, meanwhile, calls are trading at three times the normal intraday clip, and per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), speculators are both buying and selling to open VLO's July 55 call.