Most Active Options Update: Apple Inc. and Sunedison Inc

Options traders have been targeting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) in recent weeks

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 10, 2015 at 12:16 PM

The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total 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 Mac mastermind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and solar security Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE).

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As has been well-documented, AAPL has struggled on the charts in recent weeks, only recently snapping a five-day losing streak. Today, the shares are 3.3% higher at $119.30, breaking out above their 10-day moving average -- which has mostly acted as a layer of resistance since early June.

Amid this longer-term downtrend, AAPL puts have been hot. In fact, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.68 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks 1 percentage point from a 12-month high. In other words, traders have rarely bought to open puts over calls at a more rapid rate, looking back one year.

Today, however, Apple Inc. calls hold a decisive advantage over puts. Weekly options are in vogue, with the 8/14 120- and 121-strike calls garnering the most attention, and seeing a mix of buying and selling activity, per the ISE.

Meanwhile, SUNE had an embarrassingly bad end to last week, plummeting a total of 35% on Thursday and Friday -- the stock's worst two-day stretch in two years. At midday, the shares have muscled 1.4% higher to $15.16, despite a price-target cut to $28 at Deutsche Bank.

Additional bearish attention could be forthcoming. Over 70% of analysts consider SUNE a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" rating to be found. Also, the equity's consensus 12-month price target of $34.17 is more than double current trading levels.

Option traders have blazed a far more skeptical path than the brokerage bunch. Sunedison Inc's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.01 ranks in the 78th annual percentile. Today, calls are five times more popular than puts, though this isn't necessarily the work of bulls. Trade-Alert suggests a block of 16,000 August 19 calls was sold to open, as one speculator rolls the dice on a short-term ceiling.


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