3 Chip Stocks Rallying on China Trade Rhetoric

AMD, MU, and NVDA all sport attractively priced options too

by Patrick Martin

Published on Aug 29, 2019 at 10:08 AM

The semiconductor sector is probably the biggest benefactor to China's optimistic trade rhetoric this morning. Chip stocks are higher across the board, but let's take a look at three in particular: Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD)Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).

At last check, Advanced Micro Devices stock was up 3.2% to trade at $31.77. The shares  -- now up 72% year-to-date -- found support at their 120-day trendline after a subsequent pullback from their Aug. 9 13-year high. Barring a dramatic pivot, AMD is heading for its third straight monthly win. 

Traders should consider speculating on AMD with options. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 51% sits higher than just 17% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting near-term options are attractively priced at the moment.

Looking at Micron, the stock was last seen up 3.1% to trade at $44,47, extending its 2019 gains to 40%. MU also pulled back amid the Huawei headwinds earlier this month, but still is cruising toward its third straight monthly gain. However, the shares found a floor at their 50-day moving average.

The good news for options buyers is that Micron's SVI is perched at 42% and registers in the 19th percentile of its annual range. This indicates the equity's front-month at-the-money options have priced in lower volatility expectations just 19% of the time over the last year.

Last, there's Nvidia, up 3.6% to trade at $167. Nvidia is up a paltry 20% year-to-date compared to its two peers above, with the $175 level turning away an earnings-induced rally two weeks ago. Thanks to today though, NVDA is back in the black for August, in what would be its third straight monthly win.

Like its peers, implied volatilities on the equity are at low levels. NVDA's SVI of 41% registers in the 20th percentile of its annual range. Plus, the chipmaker has certainly been an attractive target for those buying premium during the past year, in the sense that it's made bigger moves than what the options market was pricing in. This is according to the security's elevated Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) reading of 96 out of a possible 100.


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