Target Stock, Call Volume Pop on Cowen Note

TGT call options are popular today

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:51 PM

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is up 0.9% today $86.32, following an upgrade to "outperform" from "market perform" at Cowen, which also boosted its price target to $100 from $90. The brokerage firm likes Target's new digital strategy, and is bullish on the company's potential holiday sales. Taking a broader view, most other analysts remain skeptical, with 12 of 17 in coverage handing out "hold" or "strong sell" ratings.

However, historical data suggests TGT shares actually underperform their retail peers during the holiday season. Data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White shows the equity with just a 1.8% average gain in the November-December period over the past 10 years, closing higher in the time period just four times during that span.

In the meantime, Target call options are active today, with volume running at double the expected rate. The most traded option is the November 85 call with 2,208 contracts on the tape, but traders could be selling to close positions here, especially since open interest stood at a healthy 4,936 coming into today. New positions are being opened at the weekly 11/9 87-strike call, and anyone buying these calls is expecting more upside for TGT through Friday's close, when the weeklies expire.

The retailer has had a great year on the charts, gaining 49% in the past 12 months. The shares hit an all-time high of $90.39 on Sept. 10, and have recently found support from their 80-day moving average. Plus, today's pop has TGT stock back above its 50-day moving average. Looking ahead, the company is scheduled to report earnings before the market opens on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

tgt stock chart

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