Micron Call Volume Jumps as Tech Stocks Soar

Evercore ISI said MU was "the strongest stock" within the tech sector

Nov 21, 2017 at 2:03 PM
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Tech stocks are leading the stock market rally today, and chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is soaring right alongside its sector peers. At last check, the shares were up 3.8% to trade at $49.46 -- fresh off a 16-year high of $49.56 -- after Evercore ISI called Micron "the strongest stock within the [semiconductors and technology] group," and said the equity could surge another 25%. Options traders appear to be betting on more upside, too, with calls crossing at three times the average intraday rate.

At last check, 301,921 calls were on the tape, with volume pacing in the 100th annual percentile. Most notable are the symmetrical blocks of 20,000 January 2018 46- and 49-strike calls, and Trade-Alert indicates these long call spreads -- initiated back on Nov. 10 -- are being rolled up to the 50 and 55 strikes in the same series. If this is the case, the options trader now expects MU to rally up to $55 by January options expiration.

This bullish bias isn't anything new for Micron options traders. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculative players have bought to open 285,462 calls over the past 20 sessions, compared to 77,960 puts -- resulting in a top-heavy call/put volume ratio of 3.59.

And looking at the charts, it's no wonder why options traders have taken a glass-half-full outlook toward Micron. Even before today's breakout session, the stock had already been charting a path of new highs in recent sessions.

Longer term, Micron shares are up more than 153% year-over-year. The shares could be carving out even more upside in the near term, considering MU has been one of the best stocks to own on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) during Thanksgiving week, according to data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.

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