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), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Amid reports that China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) will start taking iPhone orders on Thursday, Apple Inc.'s weekly 12/13 570-strike call is seeing a mix of buying and selling activity in the options pits. Elsewhere, Google Inc hit a new record high of $1,082.31 earlier, causing overall option activity to rise to 14% above the average intraday pace. Meanwhile, Google announced it has joined a number of tech titans -- including Apple -- that are seeking limits on government surveillance. Finally, here's how one Intel Corporation trader rolled her bullish bet up and out.
Intel Corporation received a brokerage-induced boost on Friday, after Citigroup raised its outlook on the stock to "buy" from "neutral." This positive price action is continuing today, prompting call volume to soar to more than three times the average intraday pace. Diving deeper reveals that the lion's share of the day's call volume has centered at two strikes, as one speculator appears to have adjusted her bullish position for the outperforming equity.
Shortly before noon on the NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), one massive block of 50,634 December 25 calls changed hands, while a slightly larger block of 50,783 January 2014 26-strike calls simultaneously crossed the tape -- each at a cost of $0.30 per contract. As Trade-Alert suggests, the front-month calls, which may have initially been purchased on Nov. 12 at a cost of $0.28 apiece, were likely sold to close, while the proceeds were used to buy (to open) the further-dated contracts. In other words, the speculator rolled her bullish bet up and out because she expects Intel to continue its ascent, and tackle the $26 mark over the next five-plus weeks.
On the charts, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has added roughly 21% in 2013 to trade at $24.92. The stock came within a stone's throw of tackling the $26 mark in June, but stopped just shy at $25.98. In fact, the equity has not traded north of this area since August 2012. Off the charts, Intel is tentatively scheduled to step into the earnings confessional the week of January options expiration.