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Apple Inc. (AAPL) Options Prices on the Move

Options traders bombard AAPL as implied volatility increases

by 12/2/2013 2:00 PM
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Option Brief: The cost of betting on Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) price action using options is starting to rise, and some traders may be looking to get in while the getting is good. Today, with the stock's 30-day, at-the-money implied volatility (IV) up 4.9% to 23.8%, both call and put volume is running double the typical intraday pace. Nearly 541,000 contracts in total have already crossed the tape. Meanwhile, Apple shares are modestly lower at $554.28, even as shoppers descend in droves upon the online Apple store for Cyber Monday specials.

As noted, Apple Inc. options are growing more expensive from a volatility perspective, as the stock's IV has surged from a historical low of 19.3% last Monday to its present reading. In corresponding fashion, the Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) measure has jumped to 23% -- in the 16th annual percentile -- from an annual low of 19% on Nov. 25.

Most active in today's session is the weekly 12/6 560-strike call, where close to 24,000 contracts have traded. Volume exceeds open interest, a decent chunk of the volume traded off the ask price, and IV has moved more than 3 percentage points higher, together suggesting some traders may be betting on short-term upside in Apple shares.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) briefly flickered above the $560 level earlier today, hitting $564.33, but otherwise has not closed atop this mark since Dec. 4 -- nearly one year ago.


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