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Activity has picked up in Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) options pits today, with contracts crossing the tape at an 84% mark-up to the expected intraday rate. Calls are leading the way, nearly doubling the volume of puts. Similar to yesterday, much of today's activity has centered around short-term options, as nine of GOOGL's 10 most active contracts expire at today's close.
The most popular contract is the weekly 2/27 565-strike call, where nearly 5,000 contracts have crossed. Buy-to-open activity has transpired here, as traders look for GOOGL to rally above $565 within the next hour. As it stands now, the shares' intraday high is $569.42.
More ambitious traders have bought to open the weekly 2/27 567.50- and 570-strike calls. With GOOGL's price action today, the former option moved into the money for a short period, while the latter came up just short.
As was mentioned, speculators have been targeting calls in GOOGL's options pits for some time now. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for every one of the stock's puts that have been bought to open during the past two weeks, 2.22 calls have been purchased.
Shifting focus, analysts are almost entirely bullish on the security. Of the 27 brokerage firms tracking the equity, 22 rate it a "buy" or better, with the remaining five handing out "hold" recommendations.
On a long-term technical basis, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has struggled. Year-over-year, the shares are off 7.7%. However, GOOGL was last seen 0.4% higher at $561.59, and on pace to end atop its 200-day moving average for the first time since early October.