Twitter Inc (TWTR) Breakout Has Options Traders in Overdrive

Twitter Inc (TWTR) has jumped nearly 8%, prompting options traders to pick sides

Apr 4, 2016 at 1:46 PM
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Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is booming this afternoon, up 7.6% at $17.19 following reports Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) is exploring a possible partnership with the social media firm due to its innovative payment services platforms. Also, Pivotal Research raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold." Options traders are reacting to the action, with intraday volume doubling the usual amount.

On the call side of the aisle, it seems traders are buying to open the weekly 4/8 17 strike. By doing so, they're betting TWTR will extend its lead above $17 by this Friday's close, when the weekly series expires. On the other hand, it looks like one put trader sold to close a block of 5,500 April 17 puts and bought to open a matching lot of May 16 puts -- rolling his bearish position down and out -- according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE).

From a wider vantage point, TWTR calls have certainly been the options of choice. Traders have bought to open more than five calls for every put during the last 10 days at the ISE, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The resultant call/put volume ratio of 5.16 sits a mere 2 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

It's clear short-term options traders have been call-focused, too. TWTR's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 0.50, with calls doubling puts among options with a shelf-life of three months or less. What's more, the reading ranks in the low 6th percentile of its annual range.

While Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is breaking out today, it remains a long-term dud. In 2016 alone, the stock has surrendered one-quarter of its value. However, at last check, the shares are on track to close above their 60-day moving average for the first time since early November -- and have easily cleared previous resistance at their 40-day trendline.

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