Weekly Apple Calls Popular as Stock Trades Near All-Time High

Tech stocks are outperforming today

Jun 1, 2018 at 2:27 PM
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The tech sector is hot today, and that's providing a lift for iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). AAPL shares are trading up 1.7% at $189.98, putting them just below their May 10 all-time high of $190.37. Aside from the broader market tailwinds, the Wall Street Journal just published a story about Apple's push to expand its ad business (subscription required), and UBS this morning raised its price target to $210 from $190 -- though most analysts remain bearish. At these levels, the blue chip sports a year-to-date lead north of 12%, recently finding support from its 20-day moving average.

apple stock price

In the meantime, call buying looks popular today, with the options more than doubling their put counterparts. New positions are being opened at the weekly 6/1 190-strike call -- which expires at today's close -- and the weekly 6/8 190-strike call. Those buying the latter calls are expecting Apple stock to continue pushing higher in the coming days, possibly hoping for a boost from next week's developers conference.

Interestingly, put buying has actually been unusually popular on AAPL in recent weeks. The security has a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.76 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks just 3 percentage points from a 12-month high. Either way, Apple has been a good target for premium buyers, based on its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 80, with the stock showing a tendency to blow past options traders' volatility expectations.

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