Target Options Bull Makes a Well-Timed Bet

Call buying has been popular on TGT recently

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 8, 2019 at 11:08 AM

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is running hot today, on news the retailer partnered with Tru Kids -- owner of the Toys 'R' Us brand. Specifically, shoppers who visit ToysRUs.com to browse toys will be redirected to Target's website once they click "buy." A new "strong buy" rating at Raymond James is only fueling the tailwinds, with TGT stock up 0.6% to trade at $108.57.

This burst higher is good news for one options trader, who placed a well-timed bullish bet on Monday. Amid heavy trading yesterday, one speculator bought to open TGT's weekly 10/11 110-strike call for an average price of $0.47, according to Trade-Alert. Thanks to today's pop, the bid price on this short-term option was last seen at $0.71, meaning the call buyer is already looking at a paper profit.

Call volume is quick again this morning, too, with more than 7,700 contracts on the tape already -- 1.9 times what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 10/11 110-strike call is most active once again, followed by the October 109 call. Buy-to-open activity has been detected at each strike, meaning traders are betting on even more near-term upside for the retail stock.

This week's rush toward bullish bets just echoes a wider trend seen in Target's options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (IS), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 20-day call/put volume ratio is perched at a top-heavy 1.13. Drilling down, the October 115 strike is home to peak call open interest in the front-month series, with data confirming notable buy-to-open activity here.

The highest TGT stock ever traded was $110.94, tagged on Sept. 6. Since then, the shares have pulled back to test support at their rising 30-day moving average, and just below here is the psychologically significant 40-day trendline. Year-to-date, Target shares have surged 64.5%, thanks in part to an earnings-related bull gap in late August.

tgt stock daily price chart on oct 8


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