Postponed Product Reveal Pressures Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Stock

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said a highly anticipated announcement has been delayed until Wednesday

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 17, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is 0.9% lower at $194.58, after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that TSLA's new product reveal, which was originally scheduled for today, has been moved back to Wednesday. Separately, TSLA said that -- pending the outcome of a Nov. 17 shareholder vote over its proposed merger with SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) -- it will work with Panasonic to produce solar sells and modules to use in its Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage products. In the options pits, calls are outpacing puts -- 9,070 vs. 6,169 -- echoing a recent trend on TSLA stock.

For instance, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), options traders have bought to open 50,265 calls in the past 10 sessions, compared to 44,106 puts. What's more, the resultant call/put volume ratio of 1.14 ranks in the 69th annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.

Additionally, TSLA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.00 ranks lower than 78% of all comparable readings taken in the past year. In other words, speculative traders are more call-heavy than usual toward options set to expire in three months or less.

In the front-month series, specifically, peak open interest of 14,797 contracts is currently located at TSLA's October 220 call. According to the major options exchanges, a healthy portion of these calls have been bought to open in recent weeks, suggesting traders are eyeing a move north of $220 by this Friday's close -- when the options expire.

Considering TSLA hasn't explored the north side of $220 since late August, it's possible that some of this activity is a result of short sellers hedging their bearish bets against any upside risk. Regardless, the most any call buyers stands to lose -- should their options expire out of the money -- is the initial premium paid.

Technically, TSLA stock has been notching a series of lower highs since topping out at an annual high of $269.34 in early April -- down nearly 28%, and most recently pressured by a scathing outlook from Goldman Sachs. However, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) appears to have found a solid layer of support near $194 -- which sits just above its negative 20% year-to-date breakeven mark.

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