Amazon Stock Boosted By Whole Foods Buzz

AMZN stock is set to close 2018 with a 30% gain

by Lillian Currens

Published on Dec 31, 2018 at 9:54 AM, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares are up 2.8% to trade at $1,518.96 this morning, amid reports the e-tail giant will be expanding its Whole Foods stores next year. Amazon's aim is to put more customers in range of its Prime Now delivery service, with potential new stores in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, sources told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required). 

The stock is still set to end 2018 with a gain of roughly 30%, despite the beating AMZN and other tech stocks have taken in the past few months. The equity touched a 10-month low early last week, but popped higher after announcing record-breaking sales for the holiday season. In fact, AMZN shares just finished back above their 10-day moving average after several weeks of staring up at the trendline. 

Analysts are still on Amazon's side, too, with an overwhelming 26 of the 28 giving it a "buy" or better rating, while the other two are calling it a tepid "hold." The security still has a ways to go though if it wants to hit the 12-month consensus price target of $2,136.26, though, which represents a near 42% premium to current levels. 

In the same vein, options traders have been quite bullish about the FAANG stock, too, with AMZN's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.92 sitting in just the 9th percentile of its annual range. This suggests that short-term options players are more call-heavy than usual right now. Plus, Amazon's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) sits at an 83, hinting that the stock has had a tendency to exceed option traders' volatility expectations during the past year. 

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