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 General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).
General Electric Company closed out 2013 in fine fashion -- adding nearly 34%, and notching its first close north of $28 since September 2008. However, this upward momentum seemingly stalled at the turn of the calendar year, and since Jan. 1, GE has shed more than 8%. This recent trend is continuing today, with the shares down 1% to churn near $25.73. In the stock's options pits, meanwhile, put and call volume have accelerated to 40% and 70% above their typical intraday levels, respectively.
On the put side, the March 25 strike has seen the most action, where 79% of the 5,041 contracts traded have gone off at the ask price. Plus, implied volatility (IV) at the out-of-the-money strike has ticked higher, suggesting buy-to-open activity. Amid today's dreary price action, delta for the put has risen to negative 0.36, from its perch of negative 0.29 at last night's close. In other words, the options market is now giving the put a 36% chance of an in-the-money finish.
On the call side, the March 26 strike has received notable attention. The vast majority of the 5,185 contracts that have crossed the tape have done so on the ask side, and IV is higher, pointing to the initiation of a new bullish bets. Breakeven for the call (at expiration) is $26.42, or the strike price plus the volume-weighted average price of $0.42.