Most Active Options Update: Intel Corp (INTC)

Intel Corporation is seeing accelerated put activity today

Dec 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. One name of notable interest today is chipmaker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), where puts continue to be popular.

Most Active Options Table

Intel Corporation has been hounded by put players in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.93 ranks higher than 81% of similar readings taken in the past year, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at an accelerated clip.

This put-skewed bias is echoed in the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.24, which ranks in the highest percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term speculators are more put-heavy now toward INTC than at any other point over the past year.

Today, puts are crossing the tape at a rate 1.5 times the intraday average, with buy-to-open activity detected at INTC's weekly 12/26 35.50-strike put, easily the equity's most active option of the session. Almost all of the action here occurred when a multi-exchange sweep totaling 11,000 contracts changed hands at an ask price of $0.25 apiece.

The resultant net debit of $275,000 (number of contracts * premium paid * 100 shares per contract) is the most the trader stands to lose, should INTC settle north of the strike at the close on Friday, Dec. 26, when the series expires. Profit, meanwhile, will accrue south of the at-expiration breakeven mark of $35.25, which is the strike less the premium paid.

Technically speaking, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has made some big moves in 2014, and is boasting a 41.7% year-to-date lead. Today, however, the equity is being pressured by broad-market headwinds, and was last seen 1.2% lower at $36.76.


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