Stocks quoted in this article:
Two equities generating buzz on StockTwits today are retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and streaming music provider Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P). Meanwhile, financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is also garnering notable attention in the options pits. Here's a look at how traders have been aligning their speculative bets today.
- J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is up another 4.8% today at $8.70, bringing its month-to-date gain to nearly 20%. As such, option traders are once again circling JCP, with calls trading at a slightly faster-than-usual clip. Digging deeper, some speculators are rolling the dice on more short-term upside for the shares, buying to open the weekly 3/14 9-strike calls. By purchasing the calls to open, the traders expect JCP to surmount $9 -- a level the stock hasn't closed north of in 2014 -- by next Friday's close, when the contracts expire.
- Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is down 4.4% at $37.72, despite announcing market-share growth in February. Option players are scrambling to place bets on the stock's short-term trajectory; intraday option volume is running at nearly three times the norm, with nine of the 10 most active contracts expiring within the next 11 sessions. Option bulls have centered on the weekly 3/7 37.50-strike call, while bears have honed in on the weekly 3/7 36-strike put -- both of which have seen buy-to-open activity today.
- Finally, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is flirting with a 1.3% lead at $17.48, after notching a near-four-year high of $17.63 earlier in the session. The shares have added 12.3% so far in 2014, and traders are wagering on even higher highs for BAC. So far today, roughly 324,000 calls have crossed the tape -- more than three times the norm. For comparison, just 100,000 BAC puts have changed hands. Upon closer inspection, it appears bulls are buying to open the weekly 3/7 17.50-strike call and the April 18 call, both of which have seen more than 23,000 contracts exchanged. On the fundamental front, the company began offering a checkless, no-overdraft checking account for a set monthly fee, in hopes of creating a consistent stream of revenue.