Most Active Weekly Options: Ford Motor Company and Twitter Inc

Put players have set their sights on struggling Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 3, 2015 at 2:50 PM

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 car concern Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and microblogging name Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

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F is making headlines today, following the release of July auto sales. At last check, the stock was up 0.7% at $14.94. This positive price action is a nice change of pace for F, which bottomed at a year-to-date low of $14.23 one week ago, and currently sports a year-over-year deficit of 12.2%.

Option traders, meanwhile, have been initiating bearish bets at a rapid-fire rate in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), F's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.44 ranks just 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

Echoing this is Ford Motor Company's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.96, which sits higher than 76% of all similar readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, speculative traders are more put-skewed than usual toward options expiring in three months or less.

TWTR has picked up right where it left off last week, tumbling to a record low of $28.69 earlier. At last check, the stock was off 7% at $28.83 -- widening its year-to-date decline to 20%, and putting itself on track to notch its lowest settlement to date.

The downtrend has not gone unnoticed on option traders, who have been scooping up long puts over calls at a near-annual-high clip. Specifically, TWTR's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.50 sits in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. Plus, the stock's SOIR of 0.83 rests above 91% of comparable readings taken in the past 12 months.

In today's trading, puts are crossing the tape at two times the average intraday pace, with possible buy-to-open activity detected at Twitter Inc's weekly 8/7 29-strike put. If traders are indeed purchasing new positions here, the goal is for the stock to extend its decline south of $29 through week's end -- when the series expires.

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