Most Active Weekly Options: Ford Motor Company and Tesla Motors Inc

Weekly call options are popular today on Ford Motor Company (F) and Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 29, 2016 at 1:33 PM

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 Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

most active weekly options july 29

F suffered a post-earnings plunge yesterday, and remains on the short-sale restricted list, despite being up 0.2% at $12.74. The gains are somewhat surprising, given Goldman Sachs' decision to remove the automaker from its "Americas Buy" list, and lower its rating to "neutral" from "buy." The brokerage firm was also one of three to cut its target price on the stock. Plus, a pair of forecasters offered up a bleak prediction on industrywide auto sales for 2016.

Amid these developments, F options have been running hot, with intraday volume nearly doubling the norm. The most active weekly option is the 8/5 13-strike call, where buy-to-open activity is detected -- suggesting traders foresee the shares bouncing back above $13 by next Friday's close, when the series expires. In terms of standard expiration options, Trade-Alert indicates one speculator bought to close a block of 13,745 July 2017 14.75-strike calls, and simultaneously sold to open a matching lot of October 13 calls.

Taking a step back, short-term options traders have definitely preferred the call side of the aisle. Ford Motor Company's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 0.67, with calls outstripping puts. What's more, this ratio lands in the call-skewed 12th percentile of its annual range.

Changing directions, TSLA is up 1.6% at $234.37, as it tries to put its 320-day moving average in the rearview mirror. Boosting the shares is Panasonic's announcement that it will raise $3.9 billion to help finance Tesla's "Gigafactory." Having said all that, next Wednesday night's earnings report will go a long way toward determining whether the auto stock can successfully break out of its current levels of technical congestion.

The weekly 7/29 series of options is extremely popular this afternoon, accounting for eight of the 10 most active TSLA strikes. Also, buy-to-open action is detected at the weekly 7/29 232.50- and 235-strike calls, suggesting eleventh-hour speculators are wagering on extended gains for the stock.

This preference for call buying is ordinary for Tesla Motors Inc, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The auto stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio is 1.15, outstripping 78% of all other readings taken in the prior 12 months.

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