Stocks quoted in this article:
Put players have been active in Intel Corporation's (NASDAQ:INTC) options pits of late, per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Over the past 10 sessions, specifically, the equity has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 2.19 on these exchanges -- its highest reading of the year. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at an annual-high clip in recent weeks.
It's a decidedly different backdrop in today's session, though, where calls are switching hands at a rate two times the intraday average, and are outpacing puts by a margin of more than 7-to-1. Demand for short-term options is on the rise, as INTC's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility (IV) is up 2.8% to 15.0%.
The most popular contract thus far is INTC's June 27 call, where 11,096 contracts are on the tape, largely the result of four multi-exchange sweeps. The majority of the volume has crossed on the ask side and IV has ticked higher, two indications of buy-to-open activity. Based on the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.10, breakeven at the close on Friday, June 20 -- when the options expire -- is $27.10, or the strike plus the VWAP. This breakeven mark resides roughly 4.8% above INTC's current perch at $25.87.
On the charts, INTC has been making headway over the past few months -- up about 10% from its early February year-to-date low of $23.50. Meanwhile, although the equity went into a brief period of consolidation after hitting an annual high of $27.24 on April 16, INTC has found a foothold atop its rising 60-day moving average. Off the charts, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) said over the weekend that Broadwell-based products should hit the shelves in time for this holiday season. Additionally, the company will host its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.