Most Active Options: Amazon.com, Inc. and Netflix, Inc.

Call players have set their sights on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 17, 2016 at 1:33 PM

The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest 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 e-commerce stock Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX).

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AMZN -- which is reportedly considering an office supplies venture -- has seen its fair share of bearish betting in recent weeks. Drilling down on the monthly March series, however, it's been call players who have been in control. Specifically, AMZN's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.72 indicates near-the-money calls outweigh puts among options expiring at tomorrow's close.

Today, calls are crossing the tape at two times the expected intraday rate -- and outpacing puts by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Half of AMZN's 10 most active options are March calls, with new positions being initiated at the 570 and 575 strikes. It looks like new short positions are being created at the former, while fresh long positions are being initiated at the latter.

Technically, AMZN is up almost 18% from its Feb. 9 year-to-date low of $474.00. Although shares of Amazon.com, Inc. are off 2.7% today at $558.87, the stock has found a foothold atop its 200-day moving average. This trendline helped contain a pullback earlier this month.

Call buyers have been increasing their presence in NFLX's options pits recently. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for instance, the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio has jumped to 1.44 from 1.26 over the past two weeks, and now sits in the 92nd annual percentile. In other words, calls have been bought to open over puts at a near-annual-high clip.

It's more of the same this afternoon, with calls crossing the tape at a faster-than-usual clip. Drilling down, a number of option traders appear to be purchasing new positions at NFLX's March 101 and 102 calls, betting on the security to extend its lead over the century mark through tomorrow's close.

At last check, the shares have edged just north of this round-number mark, up 0.8% at $100.15. Longer term, Netflix, Inc. has bounced more than 25% since hitting a 2016 low of $79.95 on Feb. 8.

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