Most Active Options: 3D Systems Corporation and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Put players have had their eyes on 3D Systems Corporation (DDD), while call players have circled Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF)

May 9, 2016 at 2:36 PM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume among mid-cap names during the past 10 trading days. Names 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 names of notable interest are 3-D printing firm 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and retail stock Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF).

Most Active Options May 9

Put buyers have continued to target DDD after the company's poorly received turn in the earnings confessional last Thursday. In fact, the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.46 sits just 7 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

Today, put options are crossing at 1.7 times the average intraday pace, and DDD's put/call volume ratio of 2.44 is docked in the 99th annual percentile. Most active are the stock's May and June 14 puts, where it looks like one speculator is rolling her bearish bet out to the back-month series.

Technically, the stock has been struggling since topping out at an analyst-induced nine-month high of $19.76 in mid-April, off 36%. 3D Systems Corporation is falling in sympathy with sector peer Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) -- down 4.2% at $12.60 -- after SSYS CEO David Reis said the market "remains challenging" in the wake of a first-quarter earnings beat.

Call buyers have bombarded ANF in recent weeks, per the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 7.70 -- in the 99th annual percentile. Echoing this call-skewed backdrop is the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.61, which arrives lower than 73% of all comparable readings taken in the past year. In other words, short-term speculators are more call-heavy than usual toward ANF.

This afternoon, ANF call volume has swelled to two times what's typically seen, with calls outpacing puts by a 2-to-1 margin. Most active by a mile is the equity's May 24.50 call, where it seems safe to assume new positions are being purchased. If this is the case, the goal is for ANF to extend its lead north of $24.50 through next Friday's close, when front-month options expire.

At last check, ANF stock was up 2.4% at $25.60, after Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said it is expanding its presence in the Middle East by opening new stores in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Longer term, the shares have shed about 22% since hitting an annual high of $32.83 in early March, but recently found a foothold atop their 200-day moving average.

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