Harley-Davidson Stock Plunges on Back of Brutal Trump Tweet

Short-term traders are more call-heavy than usual on HOG

Managing Editor
Aug 13, 2018 at 10:02 AM
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Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) are down 2.2% at $42.31 this morning, after the motorcycle giant got hit with another tweet from President Donald Trump. Early Sunday morning, Trump tweeted HOG customers "plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas." The follows headlines from June, when Harley-Davidson said it would lose more than $90 million a year on the back of Trump tariffs, and announced plans to move production abroad. 

Looking closer at the charts, HOG has been trading atop a trendline connecting higher lows since finding a floor near the $40 level in early May. The stock has picked up roughly 8% since its May 8 low of $39.34, though this upside has continued to be contained by familiar resistance at the 160-day moving average. Harley-Davidson stock is down 16.9% year-to-date.

Digging into options data, HOG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.11 ranks in the 23rd percentile of its annual range. While the high ratio seems to suggest an influx of short-term puts, the low ranking indicates that speculators are more call-heavy than usual among options expiring in three months or less.

Those buying near-term options are in luck, too, considering premiums look attractive at the moment. That's based on the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 25%, which ranks in just the 9th annual percentile -- showing muted volatility expectations for short-term options.

Outside of the options pits, short interest on HOG fell more than 6% during the past two reporting periods, and now represents 9.2% of the stock's total available float. At Harley-Davidson stock's average daily trading volume, it would take shorts just over a week for shorts to buy back their bearish bets.     

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