Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks listed below have seen the highest total options volume over the course of the last 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 stock seeing notable activity on the call side of the fence today is Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL).
Although Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has gained only about 10% over the last 12 months, the move is enough to usher the stock to new historical highs. Today, the enterprise software name touched $37.33, its highest perch since October 2000. The new milestone has inspired option players, lifting call volume above typical levels. Roughly 16,000 ORCL calls have changed hands, outpacing average intraday demand by 52%.
Most active is the February 2014 38-strike call, where nearly 5,000 contracts have traded. Almost all of these have traded off the ask price, and implied volatility has ticked slightly higher, suggesting at least some of the calls are being purchased to open. These out-of-the-money positions represent a bet that Oracle will continue to power forward over the next several weeks, and further explore territory not breached in over a decade.
Over the past several weeks, however, bearish options traders have held the reins. The stock's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.23 ranks higher than 92% of similar readings taken during the last 12 months. In other words, long puts have been in increased demand (relative to long calls) during the last 50 trading days.
In today's trading, Oracle shares have gained roughly 1% to rest at $37.29.