Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) Skeptics Put the Pedal to the Metal

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) has been in freefall since early September

Digital Content Group
Jan 5, 2015 at 1:40 PM
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Option traders have been blazing a bearish path toward Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the automaker has racked up a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.14 -- just 5 percentage points from an annual peak. Things are no different today, amid the equity's downturn.

At last check, TSLA is down 5.4% this afternoon to trade at $207.50 amid the broad-market sell-off. Meanwhile, puts are crossing at a slightly faster-than-usual intraday pace, and traders have set their sights on the weekly 1/9 series.

Diving into the details, TSLA is seeing what looks to be buy-to-open activity at its weekly 1/9 205-, 210-, and 215-strike puts. In other words, these traders are anticipating additional downside for the shares through week's end, when the series expires.

Meanwhile, the most active TSLA option overall is the weekly 1/9 215-strike call. However, a significant number of these contracts are being sold to open, with speculators wagering on a short-term ceiling at $215 through Friday's close.

On the charts, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has fallen off a cliff since reaching a record high of $291.42 in early September. Since then, the stock has plunged nearly 29%.

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