Most Active Weekly Options: Tesla Motors Inc and Ford Motor Company

Weekly option traders are taking distinct paths toward Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) and Ford Motor Company (F)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 8, 2016 at 11:13 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

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 automakers Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

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TSLA is getting rocked today, down 5.4% at $153.79, and fresh off a new two-year low of $150.35. Amid this downtrend, bearish betting has been picking up in the stock's options pits. Specifically, the equity's 20-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 1.02, with puts edging out calls. More significantly, this ratio is up from 0.75 month-over-month.

With TSLA on the short-sale restricted list this morning, puts are changing hands at double the usual intraday rate, as bears seek alternative routes for placing downside bets. Seeing likely buy-to-open activity is the weekly 2/12 95-strike put, as speculators count on the shares breaching the deep out-of-the-money strike by Friday's close, when the series expires. For some historical context, TSLA hasn't traded south of $95 since June 2013.

It may be that these buyers are counting on -- or hedging against -- a post-earnings collapse in the stock. Tesla Motors Inc is slated to report quarterly results after the close this Wednesday, and the options market is pricing in a 23.4% swing.

Short-term option traders are also rolling the dice on F -- though a number of these bets are bullish. Specifically, the weekly 2/12 11.50-strike call is seeing buy-to-open action, as speculators wager on more upside through expiration at week's end. This is business as usual for the shares, which boast a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 5.82 -- in the 96th percentile of its annual range.

Technically speaking, Ford Motor Company is down 0.8% at $11.36 amid plans for a new manufacturing facility in Mexico. From a longer-term perspective, the stock's put on a pretty forgettable performance. Specifically, since their most recent high of $15.84 in late October, F shares have retreated over 28%.

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