Most Active Weekly Options: Kinder Morgan Inc and Chevron Corporation

Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI) and Chevron Corporation (CVX) have been targeted by weekly options traders in recent weeks

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 11, 2015 at 3:08 PM

The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total weekly options volume during the past 10 trading days. Stocks 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 energy stocks Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX).

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Despite still lingering in oversold territoryKMI is trading lower today, dropping 0.7% at $16.88 as oil futures explore new lows. Failing to deliver the shares from extended losses is a price-target hike at Raymond James to $20 from $17. Going back six months, the security has now given back 56.6%.

The weekly option that added the most open interest over the past 10 days was the 12/11 17-strike call, tacking on roughly 6,500 contracts -- and data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) confirms some buy-to-open activity here. This means traders have been betting on KMI to eclipse $17 by today's close, when the series expires.

These bulls aside, put buying has actually been more popular during the past two weeks. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX comes in at 1.10, which is higher than 69% of all other readings from the past year. In short, put buying has been more popular than normal. In today's trading, however, Kinder Morgan Inc call volume is more than double put volume. 

Switching gears, CVX led the Dow higher on Thursday, but the shares have slipped today. The equity has given back 2.6% at $86.92, and is now set to close below its 10-week moving average for the first time since late September. 

Looking back, the weekly 1/8 82-strike put has added the most open interest among weekly options over the past two weeks, at 5,050. However, ISE, CBOE, and PHLX data suggests some traders actually sold to open these options, betting on CVX to hold above $82 through the close on Friday, Jan. 8, when the series expires. 

Generally speaking, it's been another type of put player who's dominated CVX's options arena. During the past 10 sessions at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the stock has amassed a put/call volume ratio of 2.21. In other words, put buying has been twice as popular as call buying. What's more, this ratio stands higher than 91% of all others from the past year. 

In today's trading, Chevron Corporation puts are again popular, crossing at twice the average intraday pace. It appears traders are buying to open the December 87 strike, expecting CVX to extend its losses below $87 before the contracts expire next Friday. 

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