Boeing Stock Lifts Off as 737 MAX Takes Flight Once Again

The equity still carries a 32.5% year-over-year deficit, however

Digital Content Manager
Dec 29, 2020 at 9:48 AM
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The shares of Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) are up 2.1% at $220.60 at last check, after American Airlines (AAL) said it would restart 737 MAX commercial flights today. This marks a milestone for the plane manufacturer, as it tries to move past its worst crisis in 104 years. The MAX was grounded in 2019 for nearly two years, after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. The grounding was lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November, after the company agreed to software upgrades and new safeguards on a key flight control system.

On the charts, Boeing stock has struggled to take flight over the past year. While the shares have more than doubled off a March 18, seven-year low of $89, they are still miles away from February's pre-pandemic highs near the $350 mark. And while the stock has been receiving support from the $150 level since an early June bull gap, the rally has been stymied by its 320-day moving average. Year-to-date, BA remains down 32.5%. 

The options pits are populated with calls. This is per the security's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.47 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than 95% of readings from the past year. In other words, there is a healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls of late.

It's more of the same today, with calls trading at double the average intraday amount. Leading the charge so far is the weekly 12/30 220-strike call, with new positions being opened. Buyers of these calls are banking on this week's gains to hold by the end of the day this Thursday, when contracts expire.

Now certainly seems like a great opportunity to weigh in on BA's next move with options. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 43% sits in the extremely low 9th percentile of its annual range. In other words, the stock sports attractively priced premiums at the moment. 

Lastly, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) stands at an elevated 86 out of 100. This means BA has exceeded option traders' volatility expectations during the past year -- a boon for options buyers.

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