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Call volume accelerated on Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM - 36.28) on Thursday, with the contracts trading at more than four times the average daily pace. By the numbers, roughly 22,000 calls crossed the tape, compared to fewer than 4,900 puts.
Eleventh-hour speculators turned their attention to the November 36-strike call, which expires at today's close. The majority of the 4,268 contracts traded here crossed at the ask price, and open interest rose overnight, indicating new positions were initiated yesterday. By buying these calls to open for a volume-weighted average price of $0.31, traders expect AKAM to finish the session above the $36.31 mark (the strike plus the average premium paid). This breakeven level is just a hair's breadth from the stock's current perch.
Expanding the scope, yesterday's campaign for calls represents a divergence from the prevailing sentiment in the options pits. Specifically, AKAM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.04 ranks in the 100th percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term speculators are more put-heavy now than at any other point over the past year.
Technically, AKAM has been on a solid uptrend over the past 52 weeks, with the shares adding nearly 29% in that time. In fact, the stock took a bounce off its benchmark 200-day moving average yesterday, after reports surfaced that the cloud concern will acquire Verivue, an IP platform developer.
At last check, AKAM is pointed lower, dipping some 0.9%. Should AKAM fail to topple the previously mentioned breakeven level, the most the short-term traders have to lose is the initial premium paid.