Apple, Facebook Stocks Get "Buy" Endorsements

The bull notes are resulting in heavy call trading

Mar 11, 2019 at 10:19 AM
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FAANG stocks Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) received analyst upgrades this morning, and the shares of both tech companies are trading higher as a result. We'll take a closer look at AAPL and FB below.

For Apple, BofA-Merrill Lynch upgraded the iPhone maker to "buy" from "hold" and boosted its price target to $210 from $180. The brokerage firm in its note cited a strong reversal in inventory overhang for iPhones and a slight acceleration in the company's services business. What's more, the note also suggested Apple could lower prices and take back some market share.

AAPL shares are trading up 2.2% today at $176.67, setting them up for their best close since early December. The tech concern's year-to-date lead is nearly at 11%, and options traders today could be betting on more upside. That is, call volume is already running at three times the expected pace, and new positions are being opened at the March 177.50 call.

Meanwhile, FB shares are also gaining today, up 2.2% at $173.36. This has the social media security pacing for its best finish since August. Sparking the upside was an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Nomura Instinet, which lifted its price target to $215 from $172.

Facebook call options are also popular in early trading, running at twice the expected rate. More than 11,000 contracts have already crossed at the March 175 call, and there's also been notable activity at the March 180 call. Interestingly, the March 150 put is one of the top open interest positions, and data shows a mix of buy- and sell-to-open activity here. 


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