U.S. Steel Weeklies Pop as Stock Hits New Low

X call volume is accelerated

Jan 21, 2020 at 3:12 PM
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Domestic steel stocks are getting hammered today, and that has meant a new nearly four-year low of $9.81 for United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), the shares last seen 6.5% lower on the day. They've broken below a long-time floor at the $10 level, but some options traders may be betting X can reclaim double-digit territory soon.

For instance, call volume is accelerated today, and leading the way is the weekly 1/24 10-strike call, which expires at the close this Friday. Not far behind is the 10.50-strike call from the same series, and anyone buying the contracts would be betting on the steel producer regaining some ground on the charts in the coming days.

Options traders were unusually call-skewed on U.S. Steel even before today. This is according to the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.78, which ranks in the bottom percentile of its annual range. In other words, call open interest among contracts expiring within three months outweighs put open interest by a wider-than-normal amount.

Looking forward, the shares could stay volatile, with earnings due out after the close next Thursday, Jan. 30. X stock has averaged a next-day move of 9% over the past eight quarters, regardless of direction.



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