JD.Com Inc (JD) Option Bear Calls It Quits

JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) is getting a lift today from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (NYSE:BABA) earnings

Karee Venema
May 5, 2016 at 2:18 PM
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positive earnings reaction for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has boosted fellow Chinese e-commerce company JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) -- which is slated to unveil its own quarterly results next week. At last check, JD stock was up 3.1% at $24.98 -- and sending one option bear scrambling.

Specifically, while put volume on JD has jumped to two times the average intraday pace today, the majority of the action is a result of a 10,000-contract block of June 22 puts that crossed about an hour ago. It looks as if these puts are being sold to close, as one put buyer throws in the towel on his losing bet.

From a wider sentiment perspective, call buyers have dominated JD's options pits in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 3.23 ranks in the 64th annual percentile. What's more, total call open interest on JD stock is docked at an annual high.

Meanwhile, outside of the options pits, short interest surged 29.4% in the two most recent reporting periods to 39.2 million shares -- the loftiest amount since mid-February. It would take almost a week to cover these shorted shares, at JD's average daily pace of trading. As such, it's possible some of the recent call buying -- particularly at out-of-the-money strikes -- is a result of shorts hedging their bearish bets against any upside risk.

In fact, following its last two turns in the earnings confessional, JD tacked on an average gain of 5.4% in the session subsequent to reporting. Longer term, though, the shares have struggled, with JD.Com Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:JD) down 34.3% from its mid-June all-time high of $38.00.

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