Analysts, Options Traders React to GM Production Cuts

GM shares jumped above the 200-day moving average on Monday

Josh Selway
Nov 27, 2018 at 9:03 AM
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General Motors (NYSE: GM) stock closed up 4.8% yesterday following the company's announcement it'll be halting production at three North American plants. This was the shares' best session since they rallied more than 9% after earnings late last month, as they push higher from their two-year low of $30.56 on Oct. 24. GM settled Monday's session at $37.65, just above the 200-day moving average, while some analysts and options traders are betting on more upside.

For starters, J.P. Morgan Securities upped its price target on the automaker to $53 from $48, representing 41% upside from yesterday's close. This mirrors the sentiment seen in the options pits yesterday, where calls outpaced puts 77,000 to 50,000 -- though both these numbers more than doubled the daily average.

Looking at specific contracts, the January 2019 36-strike put actually led the way, and new positions were opened here. On the flip side, the January 2019 43-strike also saw need positions added. Shorter-term traders targeted the weekly 11/30 series, with positions opened at the 39- and 40-strike calls. Those buying these weeklies would be expecting GM shares to keep rising by Friday's close, when the options expire.

General Motors is sure to stay in the headlines, however. Lawmakers have berated the company after yesterday's announcement, and President Donald Trump has also offered some strong words of his own. Looking toward today's trading, General Motors is set to open down 0.4%.


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