Apple Stock in Spotlight Amid Antitrust Lawsuit

Options traders are less bullish than they have been recently

Deputy Editor
Mar 22, 2024 at 11:14 AM
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Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in focus, as the U.S. government sues the tech giant over alleged iPhone "monopoly power." A Reuters report pointed out the similarities between the lawsuit and the winning 1998 case against near-monopoly at the time, Microsoft (MSFT), but noted that as the industry changes, the lawsuit against Apple could be more difficult.

European regulators are also cracking down on Big Tech, Apple included, over potential violations of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA). Separately, Apple is allegedly in talks with China-based Baidu (BIDU) about using its artificial intelligence (AI) software for its devices.

Apple stock is up 0.4% to trade at $172.05 at last glance. The equity is down nearly 11% since the start of the year, but recently found support at the $170 level. 

Though calls are winning out on an absolute basis in the options pits, it's worth noting put volume is running at double what is typically seen at this point. So far today, 351,000 calls and 316,000 puts have been exchanged, with new positions being opened at the 3/22 170-strike put -- the most popular contract by far. 

This represents a slight shift in the options pits, as calls have been much more popular than usual over the past two weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AAPL's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.17 ranks higher than 90% of readings from the past year. 

 

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