Most Active Weekly Options: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc and Tesla Motors Inc

Weekly option traders have taken aim at Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), with both firms in the spotlight

Nov 17, 2016 at 10:58 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 names of notable interest are drug stock Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Here's a quick look at how options traders are lining up on VRX stock and TSLA stock.

most active weekly options november 17

Put players have been busy in VRX's options pits in recent weeks, with six of the stock's top 10 biggest open interest increases in the last 10 sessions being put strikes. While four of those options resided in the now-expired weekly 11/11 series, it looks like one speculator last Friday may have rolled her long weekly 11/11 23.50-strike put out to the weekly 11/25 series. If this is the case, the goal is for VRX stock to settle south of $23.50 at next Friday's close, when the weekly series expires.

Today, VRX put volume is running at two times the average intraday rate -- with 29,563 contracts on the tape so far -- on pace to settle in the 94th percentile of its annual range. The standard November series is in focus, with possible buy-to-open activity detected at the equity's November 16.50 and 17 puts. Regardless of where the stock settles the week, though -- VRX was last seen down 2.9% at $17.34, on news an ex-Philidor exec and former Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc manager have been charged with fraud -- the most the put buyers stand to lose is the initial premium paid.

TSLA shareholders will vote at 4 p.m. ET on the proposed acquisition of fellow Elon Musk firm SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) -- which Baird recently waxed optimistic on. Ahead of the event, TSLA stock is up 2.1% at $187.73, trimming its year-to-date deficit to roughly 22%. While intraday volume in TSLA's options pits is lighter than usual, speculative players are purchasing new positions at the equity's weekly 11/25 160-strike put, seemingly betting on a plunge south of $160 by next Friday's close.

More broadly speaking, short-term speculators have shown a preference for puts over calls. Tesla Motors Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.36 ranks higher than 77% of all comparable readings taken in the past year. In the front-month series, specifically, peak put open interest is located at the November 180 strike, with 6,546 contracts outstanding.

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