Space Race 2.0: Branson vs. Bezos

Jeff Bezos also plans on going to space later this month

Deputy Editor
Jul 2, 2021 at 10:19 AM
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The shares of Virgin Galactic Holding Inc (NYSE:SPCE) are skyrocketing this morning, last seen up 16.3% to trade at $50.32, after the space tourism company announced founder Richard Branson will be aboard the next test spaceflight on July 11. The flight will put Branson in space before fellow billionaire and (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, who plans to ride up with his company Blue Origin on July 20 during its first passenger spaceflight.

While Virgin Galactic stock has erased much of its recent pullback, it's still set to snap an impressive weekly win streak. The 10-day moving average also provided some padding on the charts, keeping the stock at an impressive 110% year-to-date lead. 

An unwinding of pessimism in the options pits could also put more wind at the security's back. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Virgin Galactic stock sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio which stands higher than 78% of readings from the past year. This implies a much healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts of late. 

Echoing this, the SPCE's Schaeffer's put/call volume ratio (SOIR) of 0.69 stands in the extremely high 99th percentile of its 12-month range, meaning short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased. 





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