Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Goes on Hiring Binge, Fires Back at NYT

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) plans to hire roughly 100,000 seasonal workers

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 20, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced it will be hiring 100,000 employees for the holiday season. This is in addition to the 25,000-plus full-time workers the company's brought on in recent months. The news has failed to give the stock a lift, though, last seen off 1.8% at $565.81 -- and catching the attention of short-term option bears.

So far, one of AMZN's most active options is the weekly 10/23 560-strike put, where buy-to-open activity is detected. In other words, these speculators are wagering on the stock breaching the underfoot strike by this Friday's close -- when the weekly series expires -- or risk losing the initial premium paid. Stepping back, the deeper out-of-the-money weekly 10/23 532.50-strike put has seen the biggest increase in open interest over the past 10 sessions, adding over 3,000 contracts -- at least some of which were bought to open, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).

In fact, option buyers have displayed a pronounced preference for puts over calls during the past several months. AMZN's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.08 rests just 4 percentage points from an annual high.

By contrast, the brokerage bunch is extremely optimistic toward the shares. Of the 28 analysts tracking AMZN, 22 have doled out "buy" or better assessments, with not a single "sell" opinion to be found. This isn't particularly surprising, though, given the fact the equity's rocketed over 83% higher year-to-date.

In other news, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is firing back at The New York Times, following the latter's damning article in mid-August, which criticized the e-tailer's work culture. Specifically, an AMZN spokesperson blogging on Medium said the reporters should have "checked their facts." Looking ahead, the company is slated to report earnings this Thursday evening.

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