General Electric Announces $3 Billion Share Buyback Program

The options pits have been more bearish than usual

Deputy Editor
Mar 9, 2022 at 10:31 AM
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General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) is up 3.8% at $91.46 this morning, following news that the company's board of directors approved a $3 billion share buyback program. What's more, General Electric yesterday announced it will join a growing list of firms that are suspending operations in Russia, though it will still provide medical equipment and power generation services.

On the charts, General Electric stock recently slipped below a floor at the $88 mark, though it is now looking to close well above this area. Still, overhead pressure at the 200-day moving average remains in place, and has thwarted multiple rally attempts since November. Year-to-date, GE has lost 8.7%.

The equity is seeing more options activity than usual in response to the news. So far, 4,566 calls and 4,443 puts have crossed the tape, which is nearly double the amount that's typical at this point. The weekly 3/11 90-strike put is the most popular, with new positions being opened there. 

A broader look shows a penchant for bearish bets. This is per General Electric stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.04 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks higher than 98% of readings from the past year. 

Echoing this, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.16 sits higher than 89% of annual readings. In other words, short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased.


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