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Option Clips: J.C. Penney, Core Laboratories, and Carnival Corporation

Reviewing notable options activity on J.C. Penney Company, Inc., Core Laboratories N.V., and Carnival Corporation

by 5/12/2014 2:23 PM
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Two stocks generating buzz on StockTwits today are retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and oil-and-gas issue Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE:CLB). Another equity garnering unusual activity in its options pits is cruise concern Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL). Here's a look at how today's option traders have been placing bets on these three names.

  • As J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) prepares to tell all in the earnings confessional after Thursday's close, option players are scrambling to place bets ahead of the scheduled event. In today's session, overall volume is running at more than two times the intraday pace, and the stock's November 11 put has seen the bulk of the action. After last quarter's bottom-line beat, JCP surged 25.3% in the subsequent session, but over the past eight quarters, the equity has averaged a slight single-session post-earnings loss of 0.01%. At last check, JCP was continuing its recent rebound, up 5.1% at $9.24.

  • Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE:CLB) is taking it on the chin this afternoon -- roughly 17.7% lower to churn near $155.69 -- after downwardly revising its outlook for the second quarter. Against this backdrop, the equity has been placed on the short-sale restricted list, and put volume has ramped up to 59 times the intraday average, as traders look for alternate ways to bet bearishly on CLB. Speculators are showing an increased demand for short-term options, as the stock's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility (IV) has surged 57.1% to 36.1%, after earlier hitting a new annual peak.

  • Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) is in the green today, with the equity 1.7% higher to hover around $39.78. CCL topped out at an intraday peak of $39.99 earlier, before being rejected by the round-number $40 mark -- an area that has served as resistance since late February. That hasn't stopped call players from targeting the July 41 call, which has seen 3,263 contracts change hands, mostly at the ask price. IV is higher and volume outstrips open interest, two indications of buy-to-open activity. Meanwhile, the equity's 30-day ATM IV is up 4.5% at last check to 20.0%.


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