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 Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).
Twitter Inc is bucking the broad-market trend lower today, and not surprisingly, calls are outpacing puts by a margin of more than 2-to-1. The most popular position in TWTR's options pits is the January 2014 62-strike call, where over 10,000 contracts have traded -- mostly at the ask price. With volume exceeding current levels of open interest, it appears that new bullish positions have been initiated.
Thanks to today's 0.9% pop in the stock price, these calls are currently in the money. However, should the traders choose to hold onto these bets through Friday's close -- when front-month options expire -- they need TWTR to be trading north of breakeven at $63.10, which is the strike plus the volume-weighted average price of $1.10, at 4 p.m. ET tomorrow.
Meanwhile, although calls are the options of choice today, one notable put being scooped up is the June 49 strike. All of the 2,140 contracts traded here have done so on the ask side, and volume outstrips open interest, hinting at buy-to-open activity. Considering Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has rallied nearly 38% since its early November IPO, a portion of the activity at this deep out-of-the-money strike could be indicative of shareholders hedging against a longer-term pullback. At last check, TWTR was lingering near $62.16.