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Skeptics Still Drawn to Outperforming Apple Inc.

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been targeted by put buyers and short sellers

by 6/7/2012 1:15 PM
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The stock displayed some technical resilience amid the recent market swoon, but traders still prefer put options on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares. During the past 10 sessions, AAPL has garnered a put/call volume ratio of 0.72 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks higher than 97% of other such readings taken during the previous year, suggesting that traders have purchased bearish bets over bullish at a faster pace just 3% of the time.

In today's session, speculators are adding new AAPL puts at the weekly 580, 575, 570, and 565 strikes. The stock is currently trading around $574, so traders are dividing their attention between in-the-money and out-of-the-money put options.

Elsewhere, short sellers have also been raising the bearish stakes on AAPL. Short interest on the tech giant jumped by nearly 45% over the past two reporting periods, and now totals 11.73 million shares. This represents a minimal 1.3% of the stock's float, but the current accumulation of short interest marks a new year-to-date high for AAPL.

Despite this rising tide of skepticism, the iPad parent remains a technical standout. AAPL has surged more than 41% so far in 2012, and recently bounced from support at the $520 level and its 100-day moving average.

 Daily Chart of AAPL since December 2011 With 100-Day Moving Average


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