Options Traders Blitz Ford Stock After September Sales Data

Ford stock is trading at levels not seen since late March

Oct 3, 2017 at 11:15 AM
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Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is flying high today -- up 2.1% at $12.35 -- as traders react to the automaker's 9% rise in September vehicle sales. Given today's notable pop, it's not too surprising to see options trading hands at a blistering pace in Ford's options pits. And while a number of speculators are targeting more upside for F stock, some traders are betting on a quick retreat.

By the numbers, 36,141 calls and 17,413 puts have changed hands on Ford so far, four times what's typically seen at this point in the day. Call players are targeting a move north of $12.50 over the next several weeks, with buy-to-open activity detected at the weekly 10/6 and October 12.50 calls -- the latter of which appears to be a result of a bullish roll up and out from the weekly 10/6 12-strike calls.

However, F's weekly 10/6 12-strike put is most active, with 10,674 contracts on the tape. It looks as if new positions are being purchased here, meaning options traders are betting on the stock retreating back below $12 by expiration at this Friday's close. Regardless of where the stock settles, though, the most any options buyer stands to lose is the initial premium paid.

On the charts, Ford stock sliced through the $12 yesterday, rising along with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) -- and following the company's announcement that it is developing an electric car team. Plus, since skimming two-year lows near $10.50 in August, shares of F are up 17.5% to trade at levels not seen since late March.

A continued rise is likely to attract a round of upgrades and/or price-targets, too, which could draw more buyers to Ford's table. Currently, 11 of 16 brokerages maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" rating on Ford Motor shares, while the average 12-month price target of $11.91 sits at a discount to present trading levels.

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