2 FAANG Stocks in the News

Berkshire Hathaway has taken stake in AMZN

Managing Editor
May 3, 2019 at 10:03 AM
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FAANG name Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in the news today, after Warren Buffett told CNBC that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) bought an undisclosed stake in the online retail giant. The details of the purchase will be revealed in Berkshire's quarterly report of stock holdings.

In response, Amazon stock is up 2.1% to trade at $1,940.95. Yesterday, the shares breached their 10-day moving average on a closing basis for the first time since early March. And although this trendline has been reclaimed today, AMZN is still heading for its first weekly loss in eight weeks. 

Put options have been growing in popularity lately, though. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMZN's 10-day put/call volume ratio is docked at 0.91. So although calls outnumber puts on an absolute basis, the ratio ranks in the 83rd percentile of its annual range, showing an unusual demand for long puts relative to calls in recent weeks.

Now appears to be a good time to purchase premium on short-term AMZN options. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) is 21%, below 89% of all comparable readings from the past year. In other words, the options market is pricing in relatively low short-term volatility expectations at the moment.

Also in the news is Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), after a Wall Street Journal report indicated the social media giant was building a crypto-currency payments system (subscription required). The company has explored investments up to $1 billion from companies such as Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA).

At last check, Facebook stock up was 1% to trade at $194.48. The shares gapped higher last week following the company's first-quarter earnings beat, and have since consolidated above the $190 level. Year-to-date, FB is now up 48.3%, but remains a distance off its July 25 record high of $218.60. 

Options look to be an ideal vehicle to bet on the FAANG stock, with the security's SVI of 24% ranking in the 12th percentile of its annual range. Plus, the stock has been an attractive target for premium buyers over the last 12 months, according to its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 96 (out of a possible 100) -- which means the shares have consistently realized greater volatility than what FB option premiums had priced in.

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