MGM Resorts International (MGM) Bears See a Round-Number Battle

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) puts are trading at seven times the average intraday pace

Apr 29, 2015 at 3:01 PM
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Casino stocks are in focus today, following the latest quarterly results from Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) -- but fellow component MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is making some headlines of its own. Specifically, reports the company is mulling over strategic alternatives have sent the shares 5.9% lower, and put players scrambling to the equity's options pits.

In fact, puts are trading at seven times the average intraday pace, with the majority of the day's action centered at MGM's June 20 strike. By all accounts, new positions are being purchased here, meaning speculators expect the shares to breach the round-number $20 mark by the close on Friday, June 19 -- when back-month options expire. Amid today's plunge, delta on the put has moved to negative 0.34 from 0.17 at last night's close, indicating an increased probability of an in-the-money finish.

Widening the sentiment scope reveals call buyers have been all in on MGM in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 11.45 arrives higher than all comparable readings taken in the past year.

Echoing this is MGM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57, which rests at an annual low. In other words, short-term speculators are more call-heavy now on the equity than they've been at any other point during the last 12 months.

On the charts, MGM -- as with sector peer Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) -- has done little to inspire confidence. Year-over-year, the shares have surrendered 16.6% to trade at $21.05. Meanwhile, recent rally attempts have been quickly halted by the equity's 200-day moving average -- a trendline that has ushered the security lower since late August. What's more, today's drop has MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) back in the red on a year-to-date basis.

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