Can AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) Topple Long-Term Resistance?

AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) is staging a rare comeback today

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Published on Mar 18, 2015 at 12:13 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) has surged 5.3% around midday to trade at $4.19, amid a sector-wide rally. Options traders are responding, too, with calls crossing at almost quadruple the usual intraday rate.

Digging deeper, buy-to-open activity has been detected at the weekly 3/27 4.50-strike call, where more than 6,900 contracts are on the tape -- making it AKS' most active option by far. In so doing, the speculators anticipate the shares will topple $4.50 by next Friday's close, when the series ceases trading.

In recent weeks, however, the $4.50 level has been a tough nut to crack. In fact, AKS hasn't traded above this mark since Feb. 27, with the shares facing ongoing pressure from their 40-day moving average. Year-to-date, the equity is down 29.5%.

Daily Chart of AKS since September 2014 with 40-Day Moving Average

Given AK Steel Holding Corporation's (NYSE:AKS) long-term technical troubles, it should come as little surprise that puts have been the options of choice among traders -- today notwithstanding. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 1.43 -- in the 97th percentile of its annual range.


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