Options Traders Dig Up Gold Stock After Dividend Hike

GOLD is gapping past key resistance today

Deputy Editor
Nov 5, 2020 at 2:58 PM
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The shares of Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) are up 7.3% at $29.43 at last check, after the company increased its quarterly dividend by 12.5% to nine cents per share amid a surge in gold. The company also reported a third-quarter earnings beat, and kept its 2020 forecast despite a production slowdown. 

Bouncing off its late October lows at the $26 region -- which has served as a floor for pullbacks since June -- GOLD has moved steadily higher in the past week. Today's pop has the shares breaking out past pressure at the ir60-day moving average for the first time since mid-September, and the equity is now up 57.9$ year-to-date. 

GOLD Nov 5

Options traders have been quick to get in on the action, with 66,000 calls and 22,000 puts across the tape so far -- double what's typically seen at this point and call volume pacing for the 99th percentile of its annual range. The January 30 call is the most popular, followed by the March 26 call, with new positions being opened at the latter. 

Looking at options in the past 10 weeks, calls have outweighed puts by a long shot. However, options bears have been chiming in at a much faster-than-usual rate, as shown by GOLD's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.36 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than 78% of readings from the past 12 months. 

Now might not be a bad time to weigh in on these options, either. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 42% stands higher than 20% of all other readings in its annual range, implying that options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. 


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