Can General Electric Company (GE) Find New Highs with Eyes on Cuba?

General Electric Company (GE) is eyeing multi-year highs and exploring opportunities in Cuba

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 22, 2016 at 11:13 AM

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) appears to be the latest company looking to take its business to Cuba, as relations with the country thaw. President Obama is wrapping up his historic visit to the island nation, during which he called for an end to the trade embargo. And as travel interests target Cuba as a tourist destination, GE has signed a memorandum of understanding (subscription required) with the Cuban government, expressing its intent to provide Cuba with power, aviation, and medication equipment. As the stock takes aim at multi-year highs, bears have been backing off in the options pits.

On the charts, GE has been on the mend since its February year-to-date low of $27.10, up 15% and within striking distance of its late-December seven-year high of $31.49, trading at $31.07 today. But the shares could run into resistance in this $31-to-$31.50 region, which has acted as a speed bump since November. 

And while option traders have been distinctly pessimistic of late, the bearish tide appears to be ebbing. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), GE's 10-day put/call volume ratio is still in the 90th annual percentile, but has fallen to 1.29 from 2.24 just three sessions prior.

Moreover, near-term traders have shown an unusual preference for calls over puts. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) now sits lower than 88% of all readings in the past year, at 0.62. A continued unwinding of bearish bets in the options pits could translate into tailwinds for the blue chip.

Whatever the motive, it's an enticing time to pick up GE's short-term options. The stock has a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 14% -- in the mere 3rd percentile of its annual range, meaning near-term options are pricing in extremely low volatility expectations. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) also boasts a Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 88 -- indicating the underlying security has made oversized moves in the past  year, relative to what the options market has priced in.

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