MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Limited Pop on Macau Stimulus Speculation

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) are trading higher today on rumors China could prop up Macau's economy

Oct 2, 2015 at 10:21 AM
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Casino concerns are in focus today, after another sharp drop in monthly Macau gaming revenue has rumors circulating that China could be on the cusp of giving economic support to the city. The speculation is serving as a boon for MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN), which are both bucking the day's bearish bias in early trading.

MGM, for example, has tacked on 2.5% to trade at $19.15. This positive price action provides a much-needed boost for a stock that's shed 10.3% year-to-date, and has spent most of 2015 churning south of the $22-to-$23 region.

Nevertheless, short-term speculators have shown a preference for calls over puts, per MGM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.44 -- in the 8th percentile of its annual range. However, this metric measures both buy- and sell-to-open activity in the front three-months' series of options, so it's possible that some of this action is a result of call writers.

Today, in fact, MGM Resorts International's most active option is the November 20 call, where it seems safe to assume new short positions are being initiated. By writing the calls, the speculators expect the stock to stay south of the round-number $20 through back-month options expiration at the close on Friday, Nov. 20.

Now appears to be an opportune time to sell premium on MGM's short-term options, too, considering its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 56% sits just 15 percentage points from a 52-week peak. Simply stated, the options market is pricing in relatively lofty volatility expectations at the moment.

WYNN, meanwhile, has jumped 14% to linger near $58.95 -- a rare Friday feat. Heading into today's session, the stock was staring at a 65% year-to-date deficit, and its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 19 suggested it was deeply oversold. In other words, a big bounce may have been in the cards.

Today's bull gap has lit a fire under option bulls, with calls trading at 10 times the average intraday rate, and outpacing puts by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. It appears as if new positions are being purchased at WYNN's weekly 10/9 60-strike and October 55 calls, as speculators roll the dice on this rally continuing over the next two weeks.

More broadly speaking, though, it's been put buyers who have controlled Wynn Resorts, Limited's options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for instance, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.76 ranks in the 69th annual percentile. In simpler terms, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

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