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 Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).
Ford Motor Company put volume has seen a rare spike today, with the contracts crossing the tape at a 42% mark-up to typical intraday levels. The most popular position is the May 16 put, where 6,624 contracts have changed hands -- including two large sweeps totaling 5,561. The majority of these puts traded off the ask price, and volume has surpassed current levels of open interest, pointing to buy-to-open activity.
With F lingering near $14.80, these puts are currently in the money. The options market seems pretty confident this will still be the case at the close on Friday, May 16, too, per the put's delta of negative 0.72, or 72%. Meanwhile, breakeven for today's put buyers (at expiration) is $14.37, or the strike minus the volume-weighted average price of $1.63.
As suggested earlier, today's uptick in Ford put volume marks change of pace for option traders. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity has chalked up a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 4.15. What's more, this ratio ranks in the 73rd percentile of its annual range, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip in recent weeks.
From a contrarian perspective, this accelerated call buying could come back to haunt some of the bulls, as heavy accumulations of call open interest can be found at the February 15, 16, and 17 strikes. This could translate into layers of options-related resistance for Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), as the collective 154,349 contracts that reside at these overhead strikes are unwound over the next two-plus weeks.