Most Active Options Update: General Electric Company and Netflix, Inc.

Put players have targeted General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), while call players have set their sights on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Oct 8, 2015 at 1:29 PM
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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 notable names are blue chip General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX).


Put players have been active in GE's options pits in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, GE sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.65 -- in the 78th percentile of its annual range. In fact, put open interest on GE is lingering at levels not seen since January 2012.

In recent sessions, GE put players have set their sights on the January 2017 25 strike, where 72,467 contracts have been added in the past 10 days. More than 70,000 new positions were added yesterday, and it appears a number of these puts were bought to open. In other words, these LEAPS traders expect GE to surrender its perch atop $25 by January 2017 options expiration.

Technically speaking, GE was trading south of this mark as recently as last week. However, news of a fresh multi-billion-dollar stakeholder helped send the shares soaring above the quarter-century level on Friday. Today, General Electric Company is up 0.1% at $27.79, following reports the company has suspended talks with Polish insurer PZU over the sale of GE's Polish division, Bank BPH.

NFLX option traders, meanwhile, have shown a distinct preference for long calls over puts in recent weeks. In fact, the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.43 ranks above all other readings taken in the past year. Echoing this call-skewed bias is the equity's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.75, which indicates near-the-money call open interest outweighs put open interest among options expiring at next Friday's close.

Today, however, both calls and puts are trading at an accelerated pace, with NFLX's weekly 10/9 series demanding the lion's share of the attention. Call players appear to be initiating new short positions at the stock's weekly 10/9 110 strike -- rolling the dice on a short-term ceiling. Put buyers, meanwhile, look to be purchasing new positions at the weekly 10/9 100 strike, expecting the stock to breach the century mark by tomorrow's close, when the series expires.

Today, Netflix, Inc. has bounced back from early losses -- helped by a newly announced price hike -- last seen 2.6% higher at $110.94 (and to the disappointment of the aforementioned call sellers). The security has not closed a session south of $100 since late September, and has more than doubled in value on a year-to-date basis. Looking ahead, NFLX will report earnings next Wednesday evening.

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