Most Active Weekly Options: Apple Inc. and GoPro Inc

Apple Inc. (AAPL) and GoPro Inc (GPRO) have been targeted by weekly options traders in recent weeks

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jan 19, 2016 at 2:37 PM
Updated on Jan 19, 2016 at 2:49 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 blue-chip tech company Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and camera maker GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO).

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been sliding down the charts for more than two months, taking numerous suppliers down with it, and failing to overcome resistance at the century level for well over a week. And after worries about lower iPhone orders, some are beginning to eye the company's future plans in the car industry, which Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk recently called an "open secret." The shares are slumping again today, last seen off 1.4% at $95.75.

Total open interest on AAPL is at an annual high today, as is call open interest. In fact, traders' preference for calls is especially apparent in today's put/call volume ratio of 0.51 -- lower than 81% of the past year's readings.

The most active option so far today is the weekly 1/22 100-strike call, where more than 21,000 contracts have traded. Buyers of this call are betting the underlying security will pop back above $100 before the end of this week, when the contract expires. Option traders in general seem to be eyeing a move in the near future -- nine out of the 10 most active options belong to the 1/22 weekly series. But heavy action on the security's options will likely continue -- AAPL is due to report quarterly earnings next Tuesday evening.

Fresh off a brand new low of $10.30, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) was last seen trading at $10.32, down 10% from Friday. The stock has been plummeting since mid-August -- losing almost 43% in 2016 alone -- and while nearly half of its available float is currently sold short, the stock is now on the short-sale restricted list.

As a result, traders are taking to the option pits, where the just-in-the-money weekly 1/22 10.50-strike put is seeing significant action today. Traders buying to open this contract are paying a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.36. That means GPRO will have to sink below $10.14 (strike minus VWAP) by Friday's close for buyers to make a profit.

From a broader sentiment standpoint, recent option traders have been expecting more lows for the shares. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.65 is in the bearish 93rd annual percentile. 

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