2 Airlines Making Moves on Merger Updates

Options traders are targeting JBLU at double the intraday average

Deputy Editor
Jul 6, 2023 at 11:25 AM
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The airline sector is making headlines today, after news that JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ:JBLU) is ditching its alliance with American Airlines Group Inc (AAL) in order to save its deal with Spirit Airlines Inc (NYSE:SAVE). Specifically, JetBlue will not appeal the federal ruling that its Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines is anticompetitive and will instead focus on its pending $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit. 

At last glance, JBLU was down 5.5% to trade at $8.82 and falling from last session's 52-week high of $9.45. The stock is still above its 320-day moving average, however, which it closed above last week for the first time since November 2021. Year-to-date, the equity is up 35.8%. 

JetBlue stock is seeing some options activity amid the update, with overall options volume running at double what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 7/14 9-strike call is the most active, followed by the weekly 7/7 9-strike put, with new positions being opened at the latter. 

SAVE, on the other hand, is inching 0.3% higher at last check -- trading at $17.72. The equity is on track for its seventh day of gains in the last eight sessions, though its 180-day moving average lingers above as pressure. Since the start of 2023, the stock has shed 6.8%. 

It's worth noting that both airliners have a fair amount of short interest to unwind. SAVE's short interest represents 7.3% of the stock's available float, which is over five days worth of pent-up buying power. The 19.38 million JBLU shares sold short represent 5.9% of the stock's available float. 


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