Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari Stocks Drop As CEO Steps Down

FCAU and RACE are still up big over the long run, though

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 23, 2018 at 9:53 AM

A CEO shakeup has two auto industry leaders in focus today. Ferrari N.V. (NYSE:RACE) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) are both trading lower this morning, after Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both businesses, resigned amid declining health issues. Mike Manley, previously of the company's Jeep division, will replace Marchionne.

In response, Ferrari stock is down 4.7% to trade at $133.42, and is on track for its worst day since Sept. 7. Despite the drop today, RACE shares appear to have found support at their 80-day moving average, and still boast a 28% lead in 2018.

In the options pits, traders seem prepared for such a pullback. RACE sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.98, which ranks in the 71st annual percentile. In short, speculators targeting options expiring within three months are much less call-heavy than normal. 

Turning to Fiat Chrysler, the stock is down 3.1% to trade at $18.73 in response to the C-suite change. Since trading above the $24 level in April, the shares have struggled, breaching the 200-day moving average back in early June. Nevertheless, FCAU remains up 64% year-over-year. 

Options buyers have handily favored calls in the past 10 days. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculative players have bought to open 7,039 calls in the last 10 sessions, compared to just 394 puts. The resultant call/put volume ratio of 17.87 ranks in the 84th percentile of its annual range, indicating a much healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls over puts during the past two weeks.

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