Bulls Line Up as Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) Hits High

Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) reached an all-time peak earlier

Digital Content Group
Mar 19, 2015 at 12:20 PM
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Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) made headlines yesterday by announcing a 2-for-1 stock split. Shortly thereafter, the company said it has entered into a partnership with Taiwan-based Tingyi Holding Corp. to produce and sell SBUX-brand, ready-to-drink beverages in China. The news has shares of the coffee chain flying around midday, and option bulls rolling the dice on higher highs.

Technically speaking, SBUX has popped 2.4% to trade at $98.12, bringing the stock's year-to-date advance north of 19%. What's more, the equity earlier hit a record high of $98.50.

Daily Chart of SBUX since January 2015

Meanwhile, calls are crossing the tape at six times the expected intraday rate. Most active is the March 92.50 strike, which appears to be seeing a mix of sell-to-close and buy-to-open activity. In other words, some traders are locking in paper profits ahead of tomorrow night's expiration, while others are gambling on additional short-term upside.

Speculators may also be purchasing fresh long positions at the April 100 call. If so, these traders believe SBUX will topple the century mark by the close on Friday, April 17, when the soon-to-be front-month options cease trading.

Today's call-buying pattern represents a departure from the recent trend. During the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 1.18. Not only does this ratio indicate long puts have outstripped calls, but it also ranks in the 91st percentile of its annual range.


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