Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Winning Streak Entices Option Bulls

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) option traders are singing a different tune as the stock extends a winning run

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Mar 18, 2016 at 12:33 PM

The shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are up 2.3% at $231.64, on pace for a sixth straight daily win and a year-to-date high. What's more, TSLA is set to topple its 200-day moving average for the first time in 2016, as it's enjoyed 16 wins over the past 20 sessions, bringing its March gain to 20.7%. Against this backdrop, Tesla Motors option bulls are coming out in full force today.


TSLA calls are crossing the tape at twice the average intraday clip, with apparent eleventh-hour betting at the March 225, 230, 232.50, and 235 strikes -- all of which expire at today's close. Meanwhile, slightly longer-term bulls are buying to open the weekly 3/24 230-strike calls, amid hopes for TSLA to extend its run north of $230 through next Thursday's close, when the weekly options expire.

But today's appetite for bullish bets is far from the norm. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), TSLA sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.07 -- higher than 98% of all other readings from the past year. Likewise, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) is docked at an annual high of 1.51, indicating that near-term options traders haven't been more put-biased during the past year.

Off the charts, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) traders are anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the Model 3, set for March 31. In fact, Tesla employees are reportedly reserving the cars, sight unseen, displaying major confidence in the company. Furthermore, TSLA is looking to add a lot more electric-car charging stations in Manhattan by the unveiling at the end of this month, according to the New York Post -- so much that the electric stations will outnumber gas stations on the island.

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