Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks below have attracted the highest options volume -- in the front three-months' series -- during the past 10 trading days. Data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Three names of notable interest this afternoon are Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), and Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU).
BBRY is trading lower, thanks to some downbeat analyst attention. Option traders, meanwhile, are buying to open the October 7 puts as they bet on a continued pullback. Conversely, MU is higher today, after the stock was upgraded earlier. As such, calls are outpacing puts on MU by a margin of more than 2-to-1. Elsewhere, here is a quick look at the interesting activity in BAC's options pits.
Bank of America Corp is following in the bearish footsteps of the broader equities market, with the stock down 0.5% to trade at $13.99. However, this tepid price action is just more of the same for an equity that's shed roughly 7% since tackling the $15 mark in mid-July. What's more, the security rose to an intraday high of $14.10 right out of the gate this morning, but was quickly rejected by its 10-day moving average -- a trendline that has not been surmounted on a daily closing basis since Sept. 19. Today's pullback has prompted a modest uptick in put activity in BAC's options pits, with the contracts trading at a 9% mark-up to the average intraday volume.
Diving deeper into the data reveals that one speculator may be reevaluating her bearish position on BAC by rolling down her put play in the January 2015 series of options. Earlier today, two symmetrical blocks of 4,900 contracts simultaneously switched hands at the January 2015 10- and 15-strike puts. The former crossed at the ask price of $0.48, while the latter went off at the bid price for $2.42. Implied volatility rose at the lower strike, and fell at the higher strike, suggesting the buying (to open) and selling (to close) of the positions, respectively. Summing it all up, it appears this trader now expects BAC to surrender its 10-month perch atop the round-number $10 mark. Considering the stock is still up a formidable 54% year-to-date, this activity could also be indicative of a shareholder protecting her portfolio against a longer-term slide.