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One stock generating buzz on StockTwits today is e-commerce issue Zulily Inc (NASDAQ:ZU). Meanwhile, two equities seeing unusual activity in their options pits are semiconductor concern Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) and chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN). Here's a look at how today's option traders have been placing bets on these three names.
- After initially falling to a record low of $28.75 following the expiration of its lock-up period -- and subsequently being placed on the short-sale restricted list -- Zulily Inc (NASDAQ:ZU) was last seen 9.3% higher at $34.98. Amid this whipsaw price action, options volume has soared to more than seven times the intraday average. All 10 of the most active contracts expire in the May- and June-dated series, yet despite this demand for short-term options, ZU's 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) has plunged 17.2% to 75.9%. Looking ahead, Zulily will hold its annual shareholder meeting next Monday afternoon.
Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) -- last seen at $19.10 -- is slated to report earnings after tomorrow's close, and ahead of the event, the equity's 30-day ATM IV is up 5.2% to 42.4% after earlier hitting a 52-week high. Meanwhile, option volume is running at a 63% mark-up to what is typically seen at this point in the day. Drilling down, longer-term traders are targeting the January 2015 21-strike call, while shorter-term speculators are eyeing the May 19 call. Both strikes are possibly seeing buy-to-open activity. Elsewhere on the fundamental front, the company yesterday scheduled a special shareholders meeting for Monday, June 23, to vote on AMAT's proposed merger with Tokyo Electron Limited.
Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) is enjoying a 0.4% lead this afternoon to linger near $25.62. In the stock's options pits, total volume is trading at 14 times the expected intraday pace. The three most active strikes are the August 25 call, the May 23 call, and the August 23 put. According to Trade-Alert, the activity at these three strikes could possibly be connected, as a trader sold to close the front-month strike, and utilized the August-dated strikes to implement an intermediate-term collar.