Mobileye NV (MBLY) Traders Remain Skeptical Amid Tesla Hype

Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) is moving higher on reports Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk visited the company's operations

Mar 31, 2016 at 1:32 PM
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It appears as if tech stock Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) is getting a boost from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) today, as the hype around the Model 3 builds. That's because reports are circulating that Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited Mobileye's facilities in Israel to view the company's automated driving technology. At last check, MBLY is up 1.4% at $37.56, but the activity in the stock's options pits reveals traders aren't sold on the shares just yet. 

For instance, MBLY's put volume stands three times higher than the intraday average, arriving in the 95th percentile of its annual range and topping call volume by a factor of three. There's been a mix of activity at the stock's April 37 put -- the most popular strike today -- but data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) confirms at least some buy-to-open action here. In other words, speculators expect MBLY to dip back below $37 by the close on Friday, April 15, when front-month options expire. 

Elsewhere, more short-term traders are buying to open the weekly 4/1 38-strike put. By doing so, they're looking for a quick downward reversal in the shares by tomorrow's close. 

This is more of the same from MBLY option traders. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the ISE, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 3.57 -- just 1 percentage point from an annual high. Simply stated, put buying has been significantly more popular than call buying during the past two weeks. 

Looking back, the April 36 put has been one of the most popular strikes during the past 10 sessions, with over 4,000 positions added. Data from the major exchanges confirms traders have bought to open positions here. 

Skepticism is also high on the stock outside the options pits. In fact, short interest accounts for over one-fifth of MBLY's float, and it'd take bears more than two weeks to cover their positions, at average daily volumes. 

On the charts, the stock has bounced back from its all-time lows below $24 from February, but could now be forming a double-top pattern, as today's intraday high of $38.29 matches the shares' high from March 18. Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) also has its 120-moving average to deal with, a trendline that sent the stock reeling back in October.

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