GOOGL and FB Stocks Have Big Days

Checking in on FAANG names Netflix, Alphabet, and Facebook during the market's rally

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 15, 2019 at 2:19 PM

U.S. stocks are roaring higher today as third-quarter earnings so far have pleased investors. In the meantime, we're watching FAANG heavyweights Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). Here's a quick breakdown where the shares of NFLX, GOOGL, and FB are trading today.

300-Strike Call In Focus Before NFLX Earnings

NFLX shares are again under pressure due to competition concerns, this time because Roku (ROKU) is adding Apple TV to its platform. Netflix stock was last seen down 0.9% at $282.89, bringing their three-month decline to more than 22%. Looking at it another way, the equity has underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 9 percentage points in the past two months.

With earnings due out after the close tomorrow, Oct. 16, put buying has died down a bit in the past week, and short-term options traders remain call-skewed. Diving even deeper, peak open interest is in the front-month October series at the 300 call, more than doubling the next closest contract.

GOOGL Shares Spike After Product Unveiling

GOOGL shares are spiking after the company unveiled new products, including a Pixel 4 phone. The stock is trading up 1.9% at $1,240.92, testing recent congestion in the $1,240-$1,245 region.

GOOGL calls have remained popular, especially in the October series, where peak open interest rests at the 1,200-strike call. Overall, though, open interest among contracts expiring within three months is basically evenly split between calls and puts, based on Alphabet's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.04.

FB Bull Expects Earnings Beat

For Facebook, the stock could be gaining today thanks to Rosenblatt's bullish note. The brokerage said it believes the company will report a modest earnings beat when it reports at the end of this month, though it did caution about the effect of recent regulatory scrutiny. FB shares were last seen trading up 3.4% at $189.48, extending the recent bounce from the 200-day moving average.

Those interested in speculating on FB by buying premium may want to do so before the contracts get pricey ahead of earnings on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Right now the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility reading of 32.2% ranks in the middling 54th annual percentile.

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