Option Bears Undeterred by Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Revamp

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) is planning to reinvent its stores in the coming months

Aug 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM
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Ahead of the Model X SUV launch, electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will revamp its stores in the hopes of getting shoppers more acquainted with the brand and its technology. As part of the revamp, the company will launch the Tesla Design Collection -- a lineup of branded products, from driving gloves to hand bags, for customers to purchase. Of course, none of this is helping the shares today, amid the broad-market downtrend.

At last check, TSLA has dropped 2.9% to trade at $235.07. Since its late July peak at $286.65, the stock has retreated almost 22%, and is now at risk of closing below its 120-day moving average for the first time since April. This is significant, considering the trendline acted as support earlier this month.

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Amid this pullback, bearish betting has been ticking higher. Over the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), TSLA's 10-day put/call volume ratio has risen to 0.97 from 0.90 -- a reading that ranks above 64% of comparable readings from the last 12 months.

Today, TSLA puts are running at 1.7 times the usual intraday rate, and outstripping calls. Plus, buy-to-open activity is detected at the soon-to-expire August 230, 232.50, 235, 237.50, and 240 puts, as speculators roll the dice on eleventh-hour losses.

Elsewhere, short interest on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) edged up during the latest reporting period, and currently accounts for nearly one-quarter of the stock's float. At typical trading volumes, it would take about seven sessions to buy back all these bearish bets.

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