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), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY).
Google Inc is higher today, after announcing the acquisition of Boston Dynamics. Option traders are eyeing additional gains through week's end, and are buying to open GOOG's December 1,085 call. Meanwhile, with BlackBerry Ltd lingering near $6.18 ahead of this Friday's early morning earnings announcement, the stock's December 6.50 call is seeing a mix of buying and selling activity. Finally, here's a closer look at how short- and long-term speculators are using calls to bet on Intel Corporation.
Intel Corporation took a solid bounce off its 40-day moving average last Friday, and at last check, was up 1.2% in today's session to trade at $24.58. Helping boost the positive price action is the announcement that Intel will purchase the wireless assets of Mindspeed Technologies. In the equity's options pits, meanwhile, call volume is running at a slight mark-up to its average intraday pace, but diving deeper into the data reveals a sentiment shift between short- and long-term traders.
The most popular position by far is the February 2014 26-strike call, where almost all of the 23,324 contracts -- including several blocks -- traded were exchanged at the bid price. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) confirms that at least one large lot has been sold to open. In the best-case scenario, Intel will remain south of $26 through the close on Feb. 21, allowing the calls to expire worthless, and the trader to retain the net credit received as her full potential reward.
Elsewhere, longer-term option traders appear to be taking a more traditional route. Of the 3,993 July 2014 30-strike calls that have crossed the tape, 100% have done so on the ask side. Implied volatility has ticked higher, and volume outstrips open interest, pointing to buy-to-open activity. In other words, these bullish bettors expect Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to rise more than 22% from its current perch over the next seven-plus months to topple the round-number $30 mark. Should the equity fail to accomplish this feat, the most the traders stand to lose is the initial premium paid.