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Put Activity Amps Up on RadioShack

Investors bolster RSH put volume

by 1/24/2012 2:37 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

RadioShack (RSH - 10.27) has seen a flurry of put activity today, as close to 5,400 of these options have changed hands so far, which is five times the equity's expected daily volume. The majority of the action has centered around the near-the-money April 10 strike, where north of 5,000 puts have been traded -- most of them between the ask and bid prices, making it hard to discern if they were bought or sold. However, this option currently holds open interest of just 1,320 contracts, pointing to the initiation of new positions.

This slant toward puts over calls is more of the same for RSH. Data gathered from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) reveals a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 5.73, confirming that puts bought to open have outnumbered calls by nearly six to one during the past couple of weeks. In fact, this ratio registers higher than all other readings taken within the past year, indicating that traders have been snapping up bearish options over bullish at an annual-high clip.

Likewise, most of the analysts following the electronics retailer seem to share this negative sentiment toward RSH. According to Zacks, the stock holds only five "buy" or better endorsements, compared to 13 "holds" and two "sell" or worse ratings.

From a technical perspective, RSH has added around 6% year-to-date, but has underperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 16% over the past 60 sessions. On the charts, the stock is clinging to support atop its 10-day moving average, which has acted as a foothold in 2012.

In the afternoon hours of trading, however, RSH is down about 1.3% to hover at the $10.27 level.


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