Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks listed in the table below 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. Three names of notable interest this afternoon are AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY).
As Microsoft Corporation continues to run higher, one speculator appears to be rolling her bullish position up and out by selling to close a block of 2,000 January 2014 32-strike calls and buying to open a symmetrical lot of April 2014 36-strike calls. Elsewhere, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd refused to comment on a potential takeover of BlackBerry Ltd during its earnings call this morning. Meanwhile, shares of BBRY were trading lower at last check, but one block trader who scooped up 11,500 weekly 11/8 8-strike calls expects the stock to move back above $8 by next Friday. Finally, here's a closer look at the relatively rare pessimist that's circling AT&T Inc.'s options pits today.
While calls still remain the options of choice on AT&T Inc., a front-month put has attracted the most attention in today's session, thanks to one skeptical speculator forecasting a near-term slide. Nearly 5,300 November 30 puts have crossed the tape so far -- almost all of which did so in one large lot of 5,000 contracts. This block of deep out-of-the-money puts changed hands at the ask price of $0.02 apiece, and implied volatility on the trade jumped 6.3 percentage points, pointing to the initiation of new long positions.
Based on the entry price, this speculator will begin to profit with each step south of $29.98 (strike less premium paid) T takes through the close on Friday, Nov. 15. This breakeven mark rests 17.4% below the stock's current perch at $36.28. Considering T hasn't traded south of $30 on an intraday basis since April 10, 2012, delta for the put is docked at negative 0.01, or 1%. Should T fail to breach the strike price over the next two-plus weeks, the most she has to surrender is the modest initial cash outlay.
On the charts, T hasn't had much to write home about, with the shares sitting a slight 3.2% higher than they were one year ago. However, the stock is up 9.6% from its Oct. 8 low of $33.09, and is on track to notch its first weekly close north of its 50-week moving average since late May.
Off the charts, reports are circulating that AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) could possibly be in the market to acquire U.K.-based communications concern Vodafone Group Plc (ADR).