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Option players flocked to General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Friday, with the cereal concern seeing volume of 2,890 contracts cross the tape.
The April 70 call saw the highest volume, with 450 contracts traded -- 75% at the bid price, suggesting they were sold. Over the weekend, open interest increased by 243 contracts, suggesting that a portion of these calls were sold to open. By selling to open the April 70 call, which is currently in the money, bearish speculators are betting that GIS will enter April expiration below the $70 level.
The April 70 call is home to peak call open interest for the front-month series, with 3,609 contracts in residence.
Bearish sentiment toward GIS is nothing new; the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) currently checks in at a skeptically skewed 1.18, revealing that put open interest exceeds call open interest among options slated to expire within the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 79th annual percentile, implying that short-term option players have been more skeptical just 21% of the time during the past year.
GIS is in the midst of a short-term downtrend, surrendering the support of both its 10-day and 20-day moving averages last week. GIS is currently poised above the round-number $70 level, which acted as resistance during the stock's technical troubles in early February; call buyers are now hoping it holds as support.
Shortly after the open, GIS was down 0.17%, to sit at $70.38.