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 Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).
Intel Corporation is having a pretty dreary day, with the stock off 3.5% at last check to linger near $25.62. Not even a round of price-target hikes from a trio of brokerage firms can overshadow the tech concern's mixed fourth-quarter earnings results and dismal revenue forecast for the current quarter. Against this backdrop, one bearish option trader placed a massive bet on this selling pressure to continue through tonight's close.
Around 11:15 a.m. ET -- when INTC was hovering near $25.62 -- two brow-raising blocks totaling 100,000 contracts changed hands at the January 2014 25.50-strike puts. These contracts crossed the tape at the ask price of $0.09 apiece, and according to Trade-Alert, these puts were bought to open. The stock fell as low as $25.25 shortly after the open, but has been paring its earlier losses throughout the session.
If INTC fails to breach the $25.50 mark by this evening's closing bell -- when front-month options expire -- the speculator stands to lose 100% of his initial cash outlay. This equates to $900,000 (premium paid times the number of contracts, times 100 shares per option contract), or about $250 million worth of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) stock.