NVIDIA Options Traders Strike as AMD Stock Slides

NVDA stock is edging higher as sector peer AMD sinks, and options traders are reacting

Apr 6, 2017 at 1:58 PM
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It's been a turbulent year for 2016 stock market darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA). Shares of the semiconductor concern rose to a record high of $120.92 back in early February before profit-taking quickly set in. Then, less than two weeks later, two big analyst downgrades came through, sending the equity tumbling as low as $95.17. The shares posted a quick rally back to the $110 region, but another downgrade sent NVDA stock spiraling toward double digits. Today, NVIDIA is modestly higher amid positive press, as well as weakness from rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD).

Specifically, Goldman Sachs recommended selling AMD stock due to increased competition from NVIDIA and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). While AMD is tumbling, NVDA shares are up 1% today at $101, and options volume is accelerated. At last check, both calls are puts were trading above the expected rate for this point in the day, due to heavy attention on the soon-to-expire weekly 4/7 series, which accounts for eight of the 10 most popular options today. 


Looking at specifics, the weekly 4/7 100- and 101-strike calls are seeing a mix of fresh buying and selling ahead of tomorrow night's expiration. On the put side, the weekly 4/7 100 strike is leading the way, with buyers potentially eyeing a decline into double-digit territory. Earlier today, NVDA was as far south as $98.41. 

Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows call buying has been popular on NVDA in recent weeks. The stock has a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.78, which tops 82% of readings from the past year. 

Either way, it's a great time to buy NVIDIA options. For one, the shares have a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 30%, which ranks in the low 8th annual percentile. This suggests volatility expectations are muted on near-term options. On top of that, NVDA stock has a Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 100 -- the highest possible reading -- showing the shares have made much bigger-than-expected moves during the past year, compared to what the options market has priced in. 


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