Most Active Weekly Options: Bank of America Corp and Tesla Motors Inc

Weekly options traders have been hot for Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 29, 2016 at 3:07 PM

The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest weekly options volume 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 stocks of notable interest are bank stock Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Most Active Weekly Options August 29

Call buyers have been circling BAC in recent weeks. Specifically, over the past 10 days, the stock has racked up a top-heavy 10-day call/put volume ratio of 4.08 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). What's more, this ratio ranks in the 73rd annual percentile, indicating calls have been bought to open over puts at a quicker-than-usual clip.

Drilling down, BAC's weekly 9/2 15.50-strike call has seen the biggest rise in open interest over this time frame, with more than 114,000 contracts initiated. According to the major options exchanges, the vast majority of these positions were bought to open, meaning the call buyers expect BAC to be sitting north of $15.50 at this Friday's close, when the weekly series expires.

At last check, the stock was up 0.9% at $15.94, extending its recent Fed-fueled rally. In fact, the shares of Bank of America Corp have surged 10% this month, as more and more signs suggest the Federal Reserve could be on the cusp of raising interest rates. While BAC will likely find its price action tied to this Friday's jobs data -- considering the July report sparked a big move to the upside -- options buyers can rest easy knowing that regardless of where the stock settles, their risk is limited.

In TSLA's options pits, calls have had the advantage over puts in recent weeks. Specifically, speculators at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have bought to open 133,883 call options in the past 20 sessions, compared to 115,304 put options. Today, however, it's puts that have a rare edge over calls, with 32,378 of the former and 27,157 of the latter on the tape. In fact, TSLA's intraday put/call volume ratio of 1.19 ranks in the 85th annual percentile.

Options traders are hot for the stock's weekly 9/2 series, accounting for nine of TSLA's 10 most active options. Receiving the bulk of the attention is the security's weekly 9/2 215-strike put, where there appears to be a mix of buy- and sell-to-open activity occurring. Those buying the puts expect TSLA to breach $215 by week's end, while those selling the options are hoping this strike serves as a short-term foothold for the shares.

On the charts, TSLA's technical showing has been less than impressive of late. Since notching a year-to-date high of $269.34 in early April, the stock has shed 20%. What's more, after bottoming at an intraday low of $215.21 earlier, TSLA was last seen down 2.1% at $215.28 -- on track to close south of its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 8.

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