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. One name of notable interest this afternoon is Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C).
It's been a rough week for the equities market, and banking giant Citigroup Inc is no exception. Since getting a swift rejection from its descending 50-day moving average last Friday -- a trendline that currently coincides with the round-number $50 mark -- the stock has shed 5%. In spite of this, calls have been active, and in today's session, volume is running at nearly two times the expected intraday pace.
One option trader, in particular, is aligning herself with yesterday's optimists, betting on a move back above $55, but giving herself a little more time for the bullish bet to play out. In early trading, one massive block of 20,000 April 55 calls changed hands at the bid price, suggesting they were sold. Meanwhile, around the same time, two large sweeps totaling 20,000 contracts traded at the May 55 call at or near the ask price, implying they were bought.
Trade-Alert indicates the back-month calls were closed, while the further-dated calls were opened. In other words, this speculator is allowing C an additional four weeks to reclaim a foothold atop $55 by rolling out her long call position. A move of this magnitude would require Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) to jump nearly 15% from its current perch at $47.88.