Weekly Options Hot as Apple Inc. (AAPL) Hits New Low

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hit its lowest perch since June 2014 earlier

by Karee Venema

Published on May 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM

It's another down day for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), with the tech stock 1% lower at $92.31, and fresh off a new annual low of $91.85. In fact, the shares of AAPL have only finished in positive territory in one of the past 12 sessions -- notching their longest losing streak in almost two decades along the way -- and are on pace to close south of their 200-week moving average for the first time since March 2009. Against this backdrop, options traders are hustling to bet on where AAPL will settle the week, with the weekly 5/6 series accounting for nine of the stock's 10 most active options.

Most active is AAPL's weekly 5/6 93-strike call, where there looks to be a mix of buy- and sell-to-open activity occurring -- a theory echoed by data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE). Those purchasing the calls to open expect AAPL stock to bounce back above $93 by tonight's close, when the weekly series expires. Conversely, those writing the calls to open expect this strike to serve as a short-term ceiling.

More broadly speaking, while put buyers have been active at the major options exchanges in recent weeks, short-term speculators have shown a clear preference for calls. Specifically, AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62 rests lower than all other comparable readings taken in the past year. In other words, options traders are more call-heavy now toward AAPL options set to expire in three months or less than they've been at any other point over the past year.

Looking ahead, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has scheduled a trip to China for later this month. Earlier this week -- and in the wake of the tech titan's big earnings miss -- Cook waxed optimistic on the potential for sales growth in Beijing.

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