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 among short-term call players this afternoon is eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY).
Bullish speculators have apparently taken charge of eBay Inc's options pits today, despite the shares' 1.1% slip to $49.04. Specifically, traders appear to be betting on the shares' immediate post-earnings return, as three of the five most active options today are July-dated calls, which expire two sessions after EBAY's quarterly report.
Digging into the data shows roughly 1,300 contracts have changed hands at the deep out-of-the-money July 55 call, and because 71% of the contracts went off at the ask price and implied volatility at the strike has increased, it looks like speculators are opening long bullish positions here. In other words, today's option bulls anticipate EBAY will tack on at least 12.5%, and finish atop breakeven at $55.19 (strike price plus the volume-weighted average price of $0.19) at the close on Friday, July 18, when the soon-to-be front-month options expire.
As mentioned earlier, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) is slated to report second-quarter earnings after the close on Wednesday, July 16. From a historical perspective, the equity has tended to make significant moves in the sessions following its recent earnings reports -- including an 8.6% single-session, post-earnings pop in the second quarter of 2012.