Most Active Weekly Options: AAL and BAC

Weekly option traders have set their sights on American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

Jun 4, 2015 at 11:45 AM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total weekly options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Two names of notable interest are airline issue American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) and financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC).

Most Active Weekly Options

It's been a rough two weeks for AAL. The turbulence started on May 20 -- thanks to a dismal outlook from one of its sector peers, and some downbeat analyst attention has only stirred the bearish pot. Specifically, since its May 19 close at $47.85, shares of AAL have shed nearly 11% to trade at $42.61.

Option traders have been upping the bullish ante in recent weeks, though. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, AAL's 10-day call/put volume ratio has jumped to 5.68 from 4.53 since May 19. What's more, the current ratio ranks in the 95th percentile of its annual range, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a near-annual-high clip.

Today, calls are outpacing puts by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Receiving notable attention is American Airlines Group Inc's weekly 6/5 45-strike and June 46 calls, where it looks like buy-to-open activity may be transpiring. If speculators are indeed purchasing new positions here, the goal is for AAL to rally above the respective strikes over the next few weeks. However, should the security's technical troubles continue, a capitulation from option bulls could translate into near-term headwinds.

BAC has slowly been moving higher since hitting its most recent low of $15.25 on April 1, up 10.7%. This uptrend has stalled out at the overhead $17 mark -- an area that capped the stock's mid-February advances, as well. In fact, the equity hit an intraday peak of $16.98 earlier, but was last seen down 0.3% at $16.88.

In the security's options pits, though, speculators, for the most part, have taken a glass-half-empty approach to BAC. The stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.29 rests higher than 85% of all similar readings taken in the past year. Echoing this is BAC's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.86, which sits just 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak. In other words, short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed toward BAC as they are now.

In today's trading, puts are crossing the tape at a slightly accelerated clip (while calls are trading just below their average intraday rate). Option bears appear to be initiating new long positions at Bank of America Corp's November 15 put, as they bet on a longer-term retreat.


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