Most Active Weekly Options: Netflix, Inc. and Walt Disney Co

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Walt Disney Co (DIS) are among the stocks that have seen substantial weekly options action in recent weeks

Nov 14, 2016 at 11:52 AM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest 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 are streaming media interest Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Dow stock Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS). Here's a closer look at how weekly options traders have been placing their bets on NFLX and DIS stock.

most active weekly options November 14

A write-up on TechCrunch over the weekend waxed optimistic on the possibility of Netflix being bought by Walt Disney, but the commentary was none too flattering of the streaming company itself. Meanwhile, the stock is sinking today, off 2.4% at $112.06, continuing a post-election slump that's been hitting tech stocks hard -- "FANG" stocks in particular. NFLX is now on track to close in negative year-to-date territory for the first time since before its October earnings-induced bull gap.

Over the long term, calls have been the options of choice among NFLX speculators, with 1.35 calls bought to open for each put over the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). But the resulting call/put volume ratio sits in the relatively mild 59th percentile of its annual range, indicating this call preference is not unusual.

Options traders have been setting their sights on the $110 level of late. This price point is home to peak call and put open interest in NFLX's front-month series, and it coincides with the stock's 10-week moving average, which has been supporting the shares since early August. The strike is in focus again today, with opening action spotted at the weekly 11/25 110-strike put, where a mix of buying and selling action seems to be taking place. Buyers of the put are betting on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) breaching the $110 level by the option's expiration, while the put writers expect the strike to continue serving as support through the end of next week.

Meanwhile, DIS is following the broader market higher, up 0.1% to $97.77. And though the stock is sitting on a 13.8% year-over-year decline, today's upward price action is just what recent call buyers have been looking for. Specifically, DIS' 50-day call/put volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX ranks just 6 percentage points from an annual bullish high, at 1.88.

Clearly in focus for DIS is the $100 mark, which has caused trouble for the shares repeatedly since March. In fact, the January 100 call is currently home to peak open interest out of all DIS options, with 37,619 contracts in residence, and has seen the largest increase in open interest over the past two weeks. Today, the weekly 11/25 101-strike call is among the most active DIS options, and it looks like some optimistic traders have been purchasing new positions. Buyers of the call are expecting DIS to break out above $101 before the close on Friday, Nov. 25.

Unlike NFLX, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) has been treading higher in the days since the election, even in the face of some disappointing quarterly results and a round of mostly bearish brokerage attention. There may be more good news for the bulls from a technical perspective, too. DIS is currently on track to finish above its 50-week moving average -- which shut down the stock's early May advance -- for the first time since last December.

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