Stocks quoted in this article:
Three stocks seeing notable option activity today are commodity issue AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS), footwear seller Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX), and video game retailer GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME). Here's a look at how today's option traders have been placing their bets on these three names.
- AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is off 4.2% today to trade at $8.48, after earlier spiking to a fresh two-year high of $9.14 on news that the company will acquire a Dearborn, Michigan-based factory from Russian steelmaker Severstal OAO. Meanwhile, in the options pits, AKS call volume is more than tripling the expected intraday amount, and the stock's 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) has jumped 9.1% to 53%. Traders are buying to open the out-of-the-money August 10 call in the hopes that the shares will rally over the next four weeks into double-digit territory -- last seen in February 2012. Looking ahead, AKS will report second-quarter earnings next Tuesday morning.
- Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX) is up 0.7% to hover near $14.97, with the company slated to report second-quarter numbers bright and early tomorrow. Option volume has exploded ahead of this event -- especially on the call side, where volume is running at 19 times the intraday average. Plus, the equity's 30-day ATM IV has popped 18.3% to 48.9%, pointing to a growing affinity for short-term options. More specifically, traders are buying to open CROX's August 15 call -- per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) -- expecting that an earnings beat will propel the shares north of the strike, and bring the contracts into the money by the close on Friday, Aug. 15, when newly front-month options expire.
- Finally, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) is trading slightly lower at midday, around $42.73, after the company announced a new partnership with gift card exchange platform Cardpool. In options land, puts are being exchanged at eight times the normal intraday pace. According to Trade-Alert, speculators may be looking for an intermediate-term pullback by buying to open GME's October 40 put.