Ahead of Auto Data, Bears Race Toward Ford Motor Company (F)

Ford Motor Company (F) puts are crossing at a faster-than-usual rate

Digital Content Group
Mar 2, 2015 at 2:57 PM
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Ahead of tomorrow's monthly report on auto sales, speculators are placing bearish bets on Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), with puts changing hands at an accelerated clip. Most popular is the March 15 put. Data shows that some of the over 5,600 contracts that crossed here were bought to open, as traders bet on the security to fall below $15 by the close on Friday, March 20, when front-month options expire.

Puts have been growing increasingly popular among F speculators in recent weeks. Looking at data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows that the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.35 is higher than 97% of all similar readings from the past year.

Analysts' opinions on the security are split. Six covering brokerage firms have issued "buy" or better ratings, while nine others have handed out "holds" or worse. F's average 12-month price target comes in at $16.82.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) hasn't traded below $15 since Feb. 2. However, the stock is currently struggling to topple the $16.50 region, which has acted as both support and resistance since mid-2013. Plus, the March 17 strike is home to notable call open interest, which could translate into options-related resistance in the near term.

Weekly Chart of F since July 2013
 

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