Best Travel Stock for February

Schaeffer's Rocky White took a dive into the best February stocks on the S&P

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jan 29, 2020 at 1:30 PM

The month of January is coming to an end, and its no secret that the start to 2020 has already been a wild ride for stocks. Looking ahead to February, the shortest month of the year still comes with its own notable winners and losers, and below, we will take a look at the former, guiding you toward 25 S&P 500 Index (SPX) stocks that have historically outperformed in February. On the flip side, you can take a look at some of the worst February performers, here

Travel stocks have been on a volatile run for well over a year now, and Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) is no exception. The online travel booking agency has been in a series of higher highs and lows since mid-September, and is recently trending lower on the heels of its Jan. 10 annual peak of $2,094. The stock is now trading 7% lower year-to-date, and this afternoon was last seen down 0.9%, at $1,899.85. However, per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, the equity's recent pullback may be short-lived.

Specifically, BKNG has made its way near the top of White's list of best February stocks, which covers data from the past 10 years. In fact, in this time frame, Booking stock has brought in the highest average return at an impressive 10.86%. The travel name was also positive nine out of 10 times, and sports a 12.76% median return.

Best February Stocks Chart

From a more contrarian perspective, there looks to be plenty of bearish attention ready to be unwound on the security. In the options pits, Booking stock sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.35, which ranks in the 99th annual percentile at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). 

Echoing this, BKNG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.24 ranks in the 99th annual percentile. In other words, put open interest among contracts expiring within three months outweighs call open interest by a much larger-than-usual amount. If this mountain of bearish sentiment begins to unwind, it could send the equity surging sooner rather than later.

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