Options Traders React to Box Buyout Buzz

Traders are targeting calls in the January and February series

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 2, 2019 at 1:16 PM

A number of tech stocks have turned higher this afternoon, helping push the Nasdaq into positive territory. One name making a notable upside move is Box Inc (NYSE:BOX). The shares of the cloud specialist were last seen trading up 8.1% at $18.25, thanks to fresh M&A buzz pegging the company as a potential buyout target. Options activity has picked up in a big way as a result, too.

Call volume on BOX was last seen running at more than five times the daily average, with calls accounting for the seven most popular contracts today. Traders are seemingly buying to open positions at the January 17- and 18-strike calls, and at the February 19 call. These bulls would be wagering on the security extending its run higher in the coming weeks.

Looking at recent trading data on the security, the 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 2.46, showing call buying has easily outpaced put buying in the past 10 days. But it should be noted that this reading ranks in the bottom quartile of its annual range, so put buying has actually picked up on a relative basis.

Today's price action has Box again battling its 50-day moving average. The shares have struggled to maintain a consistent foothold atop this important trendline in the past six months, a time period in which they've fallen almost 29%.

box stock chart

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