TD Ameritrade Bear Rushes to Roll Bet as Stock Slumps

XLNX stock is sliding further below its 320-day trendline

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 1, 2019 at 1:41 PM

The U.S. stock market is selling off today after dismal manufacturing data. Among individual names making notable moves are broker TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD), steelmaker United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), and chip stock Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX). Here's a quick look at what's moving the shares of AMTD, X, and XLNX.

TD Ameritrade Stock Sinks on Charles Schwab Commission News

TD Ameritrade is trading near the bottom of the Nasdaq, after sector peer Charles Schwab (SCHW) said it is removing commissions for stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and options listed on U.S. and Canadian exchanges. After hitting a two-year low of $35.60 earlier, AMTD stock was last seen down 23.4% at $35.76, pacing toward its worst day since Jan. 25, 2006, when it plummeted 25.8%.

AMTD options volume is running quick, too, with around 32,000 calls and 29,000 puts on the tape so far -- 48 times what's typically seen, and a new annual high. One trader may be lowering the bar by rolling their bearish bet down and out, selling to close the now in-the-money weekly 10/11 43.50-strike puts, and buying to open the October 35 puts.

Big River Steel Stake Boosts X Stock

U.S. Steel stock is up 4.9% at $12.12, after the company said it is taking a 49.9% stake in Arkansas-based flex mill operator Big River Steel for $700 million. Today's pop is being contained by X's 50-day moving average, while just above here is the equity's 80-day moving average, which has helped usher the shares to a 60% year-over-year deficit.

X's options volume is accelerated today, with 65,000 calls and 54,000 puts traded, doubling the steel stock's average daily volume. One option bear may be adjusting their position, possibly closing out their long November 10 puts, and rolling them up to the 11 strike.

Xilinx Downgraded on U.S.-China Trade War Risk

KeyBanc downgraded Xilinx to "sector weight" from "overweight," saying overall chip demand remains weak, and projecting headwinds from the U.S.-China trade war. In reaction, XLNX stock is 4.3% lower at $91.74, headed for its lowest close since late January.

The chip shares have been sliding since their most recent peak at $133 on July 24, and gapped below their 320-day moving average late last month on news of a C-suite shake-up. Options traders have been betting on bigger losses, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.65 ranks in the 100th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at an accelerated clip.


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