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Advanced Micro Devices Attracts Bullish Speculation

Options traders scoop up calls on AMD

by 12/6/2012 1:49 PM
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Call options have become increasingly popular on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD - 2.33) lately, judging by volume data from the major exchanges. During the past five sessions, traders have bought to open 17,341 calls on AMD, according to the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Meanwhile, only 1,152 puts were purchased on the semiconductor stock during this same time frame, netting AMD a five-day call/put volume ratio of 15.05.

Expanding our scope to include buy-to-open option activity from the ISE, CBOE, and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMD sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 9.25. This ratio ranks above 92% of other such readings taken over the past year, implying that options players have shown a greater preference for bullish bets over bearish only 8% of the time.

However, it's worth noting that short interest on AMD jumped by nearly 7% over the past two reporting periods. Now, shorted shares make up a lofty 30.7% of the equity's float. At the stock's average daily trading volume, it would take more a week for all of this short interest to be unwound. With buy-to-open call volume and short interest rising simultaneously, it's possible that some options players are actually short sellers looking to hedge their bets.

In any case, AMD could end up battling options-related resistance during the short term. The stock's December 2.50 strike is home to peak call open interest of 11,786 contracts, all of which are out of the money. The $2.50 area has already emerged as a roadblock for the shares in recent sessions, and the glut of overhead calls at this strike could simply reinforce this technical ceiling during the coming weeks.

 Daily Chart of AMD since September 2012


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