Most Active Weekly Options: Alphabet Inc and, Inc.

Put players have set their sights on tech stocks Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)

May 5, 2016 at 1:19 PM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total weekly 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 tech stocks Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Most Active Weekly Options May 5

Put buying has been picking up speed in GOOGL's options pits of late. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for instance, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio has edged up to 0.79 from 0.69 over the past two weeks. Plus, the current ratio ranks in the 81st percentile of its annual range.

Even more telling is GOOGL's gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.18, which indicates that near-the-money puts more than double calls in the front three-month series of options. Today, it looks as if new positions are being purchased at GOOGL's weekly 5/6 710-strike put, as traders roll the dice on a move south of $710 by tomorrow's close, when the weekly series expires.

At last check, though, shares of Alphabet Inc were up 0.2% at $712.46. Longer term, GOOGL stock is down 10% from its most recent April 19 high of $790.95 -- slipping south of its historically significant 200-day moving average along the way. Off the charts, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) said today that its newly inked deal with GOOGL is not exclusive.

Short-term options traders are more put-heavy than usual toward AMZN, per the stock's SOIR of 1.29 -- in the 84th percentile of its annual range. However, this metric measures both buy- and sell-to-open activity, and it looks like writing puts has been fairly popular. In fact, at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, options traders have sold to open 1.21 AMZN puts for each one they've purchased over the last two weeks.

Today, put players are targeting AMZN's weekly 5/6 670 strike, but from the looks of it, the majority of the action is of the buy-to-open kind. In other words, options traders expect AMZN stock to extend its retreat below $670 through tomorrow's close. Regardless of where the stock settles, though, the most the put buyers stand to lose is the initial premium paid.

Technically, AMZN has been a powerhouse since bottoming at a year-to-date low of $474.00 in early February -- up 40%, thanks in part to last week's big post-earnings pop. This afternoon, the shares of, Inc. are off 0.8% at $665.69, as traders pan a new partnership with now-soaring Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAWW) -- and despite one hedge fund manager yesterday calling AMZN "the most incredible company being built today in the world" at the Sohn Investment Conference.

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