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 Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).
Despite Ford Motor Company's technical struggles since topping out at a two-year high of $18.02 last October, calls continue to be the options of choice. In today's session, roughly 54,000 calls have crossed the tape so far, compared to around 16,000 puts. The most active strike in afternoon trading is the weekly 3/7 15.50-strike call, and it appears speculators are betting on a move to levels not seen since F's late-January post-earnings slide.
Specifically, 10,541 contracts have changed hands at this out-of-the-money strike, including several large and mid-sized blocks. Nearly all of these calls have crossed on the ask side, implied volatility has edged higher, and volume is easily outstripping open interest. In other words, all signs are pointing to the initiation of a new batch of bullish bets.
As touched upon, F hasn't traded north of $15.50 on an intraday basis since Jan. 29, and was last seen lingering near $15.03. As such, delta for the call is docked at 0.30, or 30%, suggesting a less than 1-in-3 chance the option will be in the money at the close on Friday, March 7 -- when the weekly series expires. This time frame encompasses the automaker's February sales report, which is slated for release the morning of Monday, March 3. Of note -- following the release of Ford Motor Company's (NYSE:F) disappointing January sales numbers, the stock slid to a six-month low.