Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks listed in the table below are the S&P 400 MidCap Index (MID) components that have attracted the highest total options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names 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. One name of notable interest today is 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), with call buyers eyeing the round-number $50 mark.
3D Systems Corporation has struggled on the charts this year, with the shares off nearly 48% to trade at $48.60. Not surprisingly, the equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.21 ranks 10 percentage points from an annual bearish peak.
In today's session, however, option bulls are beginning to surface. Drilling down, the most active DDD option is the September 45 put, but the majority of the action here seems to be at the hands of traders buying to close their previously initiated short positions. There's also some interesting spread activity occurring at the 70 strike in both the August and September series of options.
Meanwhile, DDD's August 50 call has received notable attention, where the majority of the 1,233 contracts traded have done so on the ask side, signaling buyer-driven activity. Plus, implied volatility is up 3.9 percentage points, hinting at the initiation of new positions.
By purchasing these out-of-the-money calls, the expectations are for DDD to stage another late-week rally, and make its way back north of the $50 mark. More specifically, breakeven for the speculators at this Friday's close -- when front-month options expire -- is $50.43, or the strike plus the volume-weighted average price of $0.43. Gains will accrue north of here, while losses are limited to the initial premium paid, should 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) close out the week south of the round-number strike price.