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 Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).
Tesla Motors Inc option players have shown a penchant for calls over puts in recent weeks, as evidenced by data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). During the course of the past 10 sessions, TSLA has racked up a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.79, which ranks in the 81st percentile of its annual range. In other words, calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.
In today's session, calls again have the edge over puts, and at last check, around 50,000 calls had changed hands, compared to roughly 34,000 puts. All but two of the top 10 most active strikes expire at this Friday's close, and the weekly 1/24 175- and 180-strike calls have seen the heaviest volume. The majority of the calls at each strike have traded at the ask price, implied volatility has ticked higher, and volume exceeds open interest, pointing to buy-to-open activity. With TSLA last seen at $178.14, the lower-strike calls are in the money; however, the security needs to rise an additional 1% for the higher-strike call to achieve this status.
On the charts, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has had a strong start to the year, with the shares up more than 18%. Additionally, the stock recently found a new layer of support from its 40-day moving average, which -- combined with better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales data -- sparked a 15.7% single-day rally on Jan. 14. The equity is continuing this upward momentum today, after the electric car maker revealed on Tuesday that it is expanding its supercharger network in Europe.