Independent Research Sets a Major Amazon Price Target

One options trader is betting on a big move for AMZN in August

Managing Editor
Jul 30, 2018 at 9:42 AM
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Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are up 0.5% at $1,826.24, after the FAANG stock received a price-target hike to $2,150 from $2,050 at Independent Research. The brokerage firm also reiterated its "buy" rating on the security, just days after Amazon reported a second-quarter earnings beat -- and briefly boasted a $900 billion market cap.

Today's brokerage note just echoes a broader trend, with most analysts already bullish on Amazon. It's not hard to see why, either, considering the stock has been climbing the charts since its late-October post-earnings bull gap, and most recently, touched a record high of $1,880.05 last Friday, July 27. Any brief pullbacks have been contained by the rising 30-day moving average, and the shares have picked up 78% over the past 12 months.

The stock's steady rise has shaken quite a few bearish bettors loose recently. Short interest plunged 17.3% in the two most recent reporting periods to 4.18 million shares -- the fewest since early April. While this likely created some buying power for AMZN, it would take shorts fewer than two sessions to cover the remaining shorted shares, at the stock's average pace of trading.

In the options pits, meanwhile, it looks like one speculator is bracing for a big move from Amazon, regardless of direction. The August 1,800 call and put are home to significant open interest, and data from Trade-Alert suggests these front-month options may have been used to initiate a long straddle back in mid-July when AMZN stock was trading near $1,800.

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