Red-Hot Nike Stock Brings Options Traders to the Table

Nike Inc (NKE) stock is surging today, as is demand for its options

Alex Eppstein
Feb 9, 2017 at 2:34 PM
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Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) is the best stock on the Dow this afternoon, up 2.8% at $55.39 -- and reversing its negative trend from last year. As such, the shares are slated to end atop their 200-day moving average for the first time since late August. In fact, the stock is now flirting with the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of its 2016 high and low. Based on the action transpiring in NKE's options pits, traders think today's rally has legs.

nike stock chart fibonacci retracements

At last check, NKE call options were trading at triple the usual intraday rate, and twice the pace of puts. The biggest transaction involved a 1,202-contract sweep of out-of-the-money February 57.50 calls. If the options were bought to open, the speculator anticipates the shares will topple $57.50 by next Friday's close, when the front-month series expires.

Today's upward move is a welcome development for other recent options traders. Peak call open interest among all series rests at the February 52.50 strike, which is now deep in the money. In other words, buyers of these positions are likely sitting pretty, and some may even be cashing out -- as Trade-Alert data suggests speculators may be selling to close positions.

Taking a step back, call buying has been transpiring at a rapid-fire rate in recent weeks, based on data at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Specifically, NKE has racked up a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.10 -- just 2 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) should be a consideration for anyone looking for an options buying bargain. The apparel stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) rests at an annual low of 16%. In other words, options traders can purchase premium on short-term NKE strikes on the relative cheap right now.

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