Google Inc. (GOOGL) Option Activity Ramps Up as EU Brings the Heat

The EU is reportedly preparing to take Google Inc (GOOGL) to court

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 2, 2015 at 12:13 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is bucking the broad-market trend higher today, as speculation ramps up the tech titan could be headed to court to face antitrust charges filed by the European Union (EU). At last check, the shares were off 1.4% at $541.91. In the options pits, total volume is running at 1.6 times the average intraday pace, and while the weekly 4/2 series is once again dominating the action, many traders are looking ahead, and appear to be either betting on a big pop or a big plunge in the near term.

On the call side, GOOGL's April 550 strike has garnered noteworthy attention, and it seems as if new positions are being purchased here. If speculators are buying to open the calls, the expectation is for the stock to topple the $550 mark by the close on Friday, April 17 -- when front-month options expire. Amid today's drop, delta on the call has fallen to 0.41 from 0.50 at last night's close, indicating a decreased probability of an in-the-money finish.

Meanwhile, put players have set their sights on GOOGL's weekly 4/10 517.50 strike, and it looks as if there could be some buy-to-open activity happening. If long positions are indeed being initiated, the goal is for the security to breach $517.50 by next Friday's close, when the weekly series expires. GOOGL hasn't seen the south side of this strike since late January, and at last check, delta was docked at negative 0.08.

Widening the scope reveals speculative traders have shown a preference for calls over puts among options slated to expire in three months or less. Specifically, Google Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.75 ranks lower than 30% of similar readings taken in the past year.

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