AAPL Options Traders Target Weeklies During Stock Sell-Off

Weekly options are popular in today's session, too

Nov 19, 2018 at 2:07 PM
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An ongoing decline in the shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been the biggest story on Wall Street today, as the Dow stock falls on another concerning news story about iPhone production cuts which follows a string of bearish analyst notes. Last seen down 3.9% at $185.97, AAPL is on pace for its lowest close since July, and its worst month since September 2008. Further, the FAANG stock is in "bear market" territory, down 20% from its Oct. 3 high of $233.47. AAPL is quickly approaching the 320-day moving average, a trendline not touched in roughly two years. In the meantime, short-term options traders have been taking action.

aapl stock price

Data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White shows that Apple has seen by far the most weekly options volume during the past 10 days of all S&P 500 Index stocks. While AAPL frequently lands atop this list, it's still worth noting that weekly call volume has dwarfed put volume over the past two weeks, 826,319 to 565,450.

most active options nov 19

During this time span, the weekly 11/23 215-strike call saw the largest increase in open interest of all weekly contracts yet to expire, followed by the 200- and 195-strike calls in the same series. There's actually been a fairly steady mix of buying and selling to open at all these strikes, showing mixed sentiment among options traders for Apple's near-term trajectory.

There's similar activity taking place in AAPL's options pits today, too. Several strikes in the weekly 11/23 series are popular, with the 195 strike taking the top spot on the call side, and the 185 strike taking the crown on the put side. All the while the increased demand is driving up premiums on near-term contracts, based on the 30-day at-the-money implied volatility of 33.2%, in the 94th annual percentile.

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