Most Active Weekly Options: General Motors Company and Ford Motor Company

Bullish options betting has picked up on auto stocks General Motors Company (GM) and Ford Motor Company (F)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 21, 2016 at 11:11 AM

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 of interest are auto stocks General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

most active weekly options july 21

GM is red-hot after the automaker's earnings blew past estimates, and the company raised its full-year profit forecast. The stock was last seen 2.9% higher at $32.40 -- gapping above resistance at its 200-day moving average, and on track for its loftiest settlement price since April.

Options traders have been betting on a breakout. GM's 10-day call/put volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 2.89 -- just 3 percentage points from an annual peak, and a decisive shift from where things were a month ago. And traders may be seeking even more end-of-week upside, with possible buy-to-open activity detected at the weekly 7/22 31.50- and 33-strike calls.

Taking a step back, the weekly 7/22 31-strike call has seen the biggest change in open interest over the past two weeks, adding roughly 26,700 positions. According to data from the major exchanges, at least half of these General Motors Company contracts were bought to open. Suffice it to say, these option bulls are sitting pretty as we approach midday.

Meanwhile, F is benefiting from sector tailwinds, ahead of next Thursday morning's earnings report. At last check, the auto stock is nearly 2% higher at $14.01 -- just pennies below its year-to-date breakeven level.

With earnings on the horizon, F has been drawing bullish options bets. Across the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, traders have bought to open 2.48 calls for every put -- a ratio that ranks above two-thirds of all others from the past year. During that time frame, the weekly 7/29 13.50-strike call has seen the largest increase in open interest, and data at the major exchanges confirms considerable buy-to-open action.

In today's trading, that in-the-money strike is again the most popular on Ford Motor Company. From the looks of it, speculators may be selling to close their positions, locking in paper profits ahead of next Friday night's expiration.

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