Facebook Inc (FB) Knocks Out All-Time High Despite Data Probe

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) touched a record high earlier, despite an investigation out of Europe

Oct 20, 2015 at 11:31 AM
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Even amid turmoil on the fundamental front, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is 0.4% higher today at $98.90, and even touched a record high of $99.59 earlier. Apparently, Wall Street isn't too concerned about an investigation from Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, who will look into whether the company has handed over user information to the U.S. government. The social media firm denies ever doing so, and says it will comply fully with the probe. 

There's likely one group of traders hoping the news has a negative impact on the stock. Looking at data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), FB's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.56 ranks in the 88th percentile of its annual range. This means puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual rate in the past two weeks. 

It's a different story today, though. FB calls are crossing at twice the normal midday pace, as traders bet on higher highs from the social media stock by buying to open the weekly 10/23 100- and 101-strike calls. By purchasing the contracts, the speculators expect the shares to topple the strikes by week's end, when the weekly series expires. 

Still, there's been a noticeable uptick in pessimism outside the option pits in recent weeks. During the two most recent reporting periods, short interest on FB has increased by over 37%. 

On the other hand, analysts are steadfastly in the bulls' lane. FB boasts 22 "buy" or better ratings, six "holds," and zero "sells." Plus, the security's consensus 12-month price target stands at $112.35 -- a 13.6% premium to current levels, and territory never before charted. 

Looking at the charts, analysts' positions seem to make more sense, based on Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) technical history. With today's gains, the shares are now nearly 27% higher year-to-date. Furthermore, since jumping from its 200-day moving average roughly two months ago, FB has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 12 percentage points. 

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