Eleventh-Hour Bettors Blitz Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN)

Priceline Group Inc's (PCLN) weekly 2/6 series of options is popular today

Digital Content Group
Feb 6, 2015 at 1:22 PM
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Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) is following sector peer Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) lower this afternoon, after the latter posted disappointing fourth-quarter earnings. At last check, PCLN was 2.7% below breakeven at $1,016.58, bringing its year-to-date deficit close to 11%. Nevertheless, options are trading at roughly twice the usual intraday pace, with a rush of eleventh-hour betting in the weekly 2/6 series.

PCLN's two most active options are the weekly 2/6 1,020- and 1,030-strike calls. The former are seeing buy-to-open activity, as traders anticipate the underlying will muscle back atop $1,020 by tonight's closing bell, when the series expires. Meanwhile, sell-to-open activity is detected at the higher strike, as speculators gamble on a very short-term technical ceiling.

Longer term, however, near-term puts have been preferred in Priceline Group Inc's (NASDAQ:PCLN) options pits. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.98 stands in the 68th annual percentile, suggesting a stronger-than-usual bias toward puts over calls, among traders targeting options expiring in the next three months.

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