Netflix Calls Popular Despite Pullback

The FAANG stock pulled back to a trendline with bullish implications

Managing Editor
Oct 8, 2018 at 2:31 PM
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FAANG stock Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has seen heavy options trading in recent weeks, landing on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of 20 stocks that have attracted the highest amount of weekly options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted yellow are new to the list. NFLX is currently on pace for a five-day losing streak, but there is reason to believe a rebound is imminent, if one technical indicator is any guide.

MAO Oct 8

Despite a bull note on Thursday, last week was Netflix stock's worst week in nearly two months. This latest pullback means NFLX is now within one standard deviation of its 160-day moving average, after a lengthy stretch above this trendline. In the past two years, there have been four other signals of this kind, after which Netflix shares were up all four times by an average 10.8% a week later. Going ahead further, the stock was up an average of 7.92% a month after the signals, per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.

At last check, NFLX stock was down 3.6% at $338.57, so a one-week rally of similar magnitude would have the stock erasing most of its losses from this losing streak. Overall, Netflix has still added 77% in 2018, but remains far off its June 21 record high of $423.20. 


Digging into options, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows NFLX calls have been more popular than usual lately. This is shown in NFLX's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.86, which ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. This means that not only has call buying nearly doubled put buying during the past two weeks of trading, but the appetite for bullish bets has been healthier than usual.

Digging deeper, the October 380 call saw one of the highest increases in open interest during this time frame, with around 4,300 options added. Data suggests a mixture of buy-to-open and sell-to-open activity at this strike. Those buying the options believe NFLX stock will rally beyond the $380 mark by the option's expiration in two weeks, while those writing the calls see the $380 level serving as resistance. Either way, it's noteworthy that October options encompass Netflix's expected earnings release on Oct. 16 -- three days before monthly options expire.

The good news for options buyers is that the security sports a Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 84 out of 100, which shows the stock has tended to make larger-than-expected moves on the charts compared to what the options market had priced in. In simpler terms, now may be an opportune time to speculate with Netflix options.


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