McDonald's Stock Boosted By Upgrade

The analyst thinks MCD is well-equipped to handle market volatility

Managing Editor
Oct 15, 2018 at 9:54 AM
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The shares of McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) are up 0.7% to trade at $164.89 this morning, after Evercore ISI upgraded the fast food icon to "outperform" from "in-line." The analyst in coverage thinks the blue-chip stock is well-equipped to handle market volatility, and likes the lowered expectations on its valuation relative to last year. 

McDonald's stock pulled back amid last week's broad-market sell-off, shedding 3.21% on Thursday. Looking back further, MCD had bounced effectively from the $154 level in early August, but found resistance at $172, an area that stymied the stock back in June. Despite the higher price action today, the equity is still trading below its year-to-date breakeven level near the aforementioned $172 mark. 

Coming into today, there had been unusual interest in long puts. This is indicated by MCD's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.87 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the elevated 73rd annual percentile. So while calls were still more popular on an absolute basis, the high percentile rank shows put buying has picked up compared to what's normally seen.

Digging deeper, the December 155 and 160 puts saw the largest increases in open interest during this time frame. Looking closer, data gives the impression of some type of spread activity involving the contracts in last Thursday's session. Meanwhile, the company will report earnings before-the-open next Tuesday, Oct 23.

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