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 Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and US Airways Group Inc (NYSE:LCC).
Although Yahoo! Inc. ran to its loftiest level since January 2006 earlier, put volume has more than doubled the average intraday pace. Elsewhere, US Airways Group Inc is lower following the results of its November traffic report. In the stock's options pits, the December 24 put is seeing buy-to-open activity. Finally, here's a closer look at how Intel Corporation bears are setting up bets in the February 2014 series.
Puts are notably active in Intel Corporation's options pits today, with the contracts trading at a 35% mark-up to the average intraday pace. The February 2014 22-strike put is easily the most sought-after position, with more than 15,000 contracts -- including one massive block of 11,000 -- traded. Nearly all of the puts have crossed on the ask side, implied volatility at the strike has ticked higher, and volume has outpaced open interest. Summing it all up, it appears that new long put positions are being initiated.
By purchasing the out-of-the-money puts, the traders expect Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to slide south of the strike price over the next 11-plus weeks. Considering the stock has not traded below $22 since early September, delta for the put is perched at negative 0.25, or 25%, suggesting a slim 1-in-4 chance of an in-the-money finish. Should INTC fail to fall the 7.2% needed to breach $22 (the stock was last seen at $23.70), the most the bearish option traders stand to lose is the initial premium paid. According to Trade-Alert, the volume-weighted average price for the puts is $0.40 each.