Snap Stock Downgraded on Facebook Concerns

STX option traders had bought to open puts over calls at a quick clip ahead of earnings

Patrick Martin
Jul 25, 2017 at 3:33 PM
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U.S. stocks are having a big day, with the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) hitting new record highs. While mining stock Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) is one of the names making a notable move to the upside, data storage specialist Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) and Snapchat parent Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) are trading in negative territory. Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of FCX, STX, and SNAP.

Rising Copper Prices Have FCX Stock On Fire

Freeport McMoran stock is up 15% at $14.88, the top performer on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading higher with copper prices. News that the mining company is progressing in talks with the Indonesian government regarding a permit dispute for its Grasberg mine is also helping to overshadow an earnings miss -- though the company did swing to a quarterly profit.

The upside has FCX shares attempting to close a mid-February bear gap, with the stock trading back in positive year-to-date territory and above recent congestion at its 200-day moving average. Options volume hit a new 52-week peak today, too, with 262,506 contracts traded. It looks like one trader is betting on a quick retreat, buying to open 15,000 weekly 8/4 14-strike puts.

Seagate Stock Flounders After Earnings, CEO Split 

Seagate Technology shares are down 16.2% to trade at $33.33, one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq, after the company reported adjusted earnings of 65 cents per share on revenue of $2.4 billion -- well below what Wall Street was expecting. Seagate also said current chief operating officer and president, Dave Mosley, will succeed Steve Luczo as CEO starting Oct. 1.

Options traders have been bracing for more losses for the stock, which topped out at an annual high of $50.96 in late April. According to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), STX stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.31 ranks in the 87th percentile of its annual range, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

Snap Shares Hit a Record Low Earlier

Snap stock is down 1.5% to trade at $13.87, after Cleveland Research downgraded it to "neutral" from "buy," citing increased competition from rival Facebook. It's been a rough ride for SNAP stock, which has shed 18.4% since its IPO price of $17 in March, and fell to a record low of $13.65 earlier today. 

Options traders seem to be betting on a comeback for Snap shares by week's end. The weekly 7/28 14-strike call is most active today with nearly 12,800 contracts traded, and it looks like the bulk of the action is of the buy-to-open kind.


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