Stocks quoted in this article:
Three equities generating buzz on StockTwits today are social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), optical technology firm Neonode, Inc (NASDAQ:NEON), and commodity concern Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR). Here's a look at how traders have been aligning their speculative bets today.
- Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) touched a record high of $64.57 today, but has since trimmed its lead to 3.3% at $64.19. Roughly 298,000 calls have changed hands so far, representing a 49% mark-up to the stock's average intraday volume. Digging deeper, 11th-hour bulls are gambling on more upside for FB in the last leg of trading, buying to open weekly 2/7 64-strike calls, which expire at the closing bell. So far, more than 19,000 contracts have traded at the strike.
- Neonode, Inc (NASDAQ:NEON) is 10.7% higher at $6.44 on no apparent news, climbing into the black for 2014. Call volume is running at 16 times the norm, with more than 5,500 contracts exchanged. The majority of the action transpired at the out-of-the-money (OOTM) March 8 call, with more than 4,800 contracts traded -- mostly at the ask price. Plus, with zero contracts open at the strike, it appears the speculators are buying fresh bullish bets. Of course, short interest represents three weeks' worth of pent-up buying demand, at NEON's average pace of trading, suggesting short sellers could be purchasing the calls to hedge against more upside.
- Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) is 3.7% higher at $57.86, with help from a positive mention on CNBC. Overall volume is running at about 34 times the average, sending the stock's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility 63.1% higher to a new annual peak of 38.6%. Calls are the options of choice, with about 25,000 contracts exchanged, compared to 5,600 puts. The top five strikes are short-term, OOTM calls that appear to have been bought to open. Again, though, short sellers could be a factor, as it would take seven sessions to repurchase the pessimistic positions, at MUR's average daily trading volume.