Stocks quoted in this article:
The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Three names of notable interest this afternoon are General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).
QUALCOMM, Inc. hit a new 13-year high today, yet the stock's in-the-money January 2014 77.50-strike put is seeing buy-to-open activity. Meanwhile, Intel Corporation is seeing a burst of buying power, thanks to an early morning upgrade at Citigroup. Not surprisingly, call volume has nearly tripled its average intraday pace. Finally, here's a closer look at where General Motors Company option bears are placing their near-term bets.
A solid bounce off its 20-day moving average earlier this week helped send General Motors Company to a record (post-bankruptcy) peak of $40.38 earlier. This positive price action is just more of the same for a stock that's tacked on nearly 40% year-to-date. In spite of this upward momentum, a number of option traders are targeting GM's December 37 put today, as they bet on a near-term pullback for the stock.
More than 16,500 contracts have traded at this out-of-the-money strike thus far, the majority of which have done so on the ask side. Implied volatility is up 2.9 percentage points, and data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) confirms buy-to-open activity. Although GM was trading south of $37 as recently as mid-November, delta for the put is docked at negative 0.10, suggesting a slim 10% chance the option will be in the money upon expiration in two weeks. Given GM's strong technical backdrop, a portion of today's put buying could be representative of shareholders hedging.
Elsewhere, amid emerging details of the company's global restructuring of its Chevrolet brand, Morgan Stanley upped its price target for GM to $47 from $45, while maintaining its "overweight" rating. At last check, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) was trading 2.7% higher at $40.15.