TWTR Shares Rise Despite Bear Note

Twitter's weekly 12/27 31-strike call has been popular

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 18, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stock is up 1% at $31.01, even after Citigroup cut its price target to $36 from $45. The social media name is instead getting a boost from broader-market tailwinds, which should be good news for a number of TWTR options traders.

More specifically, calls have been very popular on Twitter, something we noted earlier this month, as well. In fact, the 10-day call/put volume at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) has jumped to 7.45, a number that ranks near an annual high. What's more, the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.45 ranks in the bottom percentile of its annual range, showing an unusual call-skew among near-term speculators.

Part of this is due to the huge open interest at the far out-of-the-money January 2020 70-strike call, where roughly 170,000 contracts are open -- more than three times the next closest strike. Looking at the past 10 days in particular, the weekly 12/27 31-strike call has been popular, and data confirms substantial buy-to-open activity. As such, many traders are betting on TWTR shares moving higher above $31 through next Friday's close, when the contracts expire.

With Twitter shares nearing their 50-day moving average for the first time since the October bear gap, near-term options are actually attractively priced at the moment. The 30-day at-the-money implied volatility right now is 26.6%, which lands in the 1st annual percentile, showing low volatility expectations around TWTR.


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