Carnival Stock Sees Options Surge Amid Covid Concerns

Options traders have been much more bearish than usual

Assistant Editor
Aug 2, 2021 at 1:12 PM
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The shares of cruise giant Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) have been plummeting on the charts since their June 8 annual high of $31.52, as delta variant Covid-19 concerns weigh on travel stocks. Plus, the $23 level appears to be keeping a lid on the stock's recent attempt at a breakout, with pressure from the descending 20-day moving average. At last check, CCL is up 0.9% to trade at $21.84.

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Carnival stock has also made an appearance on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of stocks that have attracted the highest weekly options volume within the past two weeks, with new names added to the list highlighted in yellow. Specifically, 457,265 weekly calls and 307,724 weekly puts have been exchanged during this time. The most popular contract during that two-week period was the weekly 7/30 23-strike call. 

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Despite calls outnumbering puts on an absolute basis, the options pits have been much more bearish than usual during this time, too. CCL's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands higher than all other readings from the past year, showing puts being picked up at their fastest rate all year. 

Analysts are split on CCL, with six of the 14 in coverage carrying a "strong buy," six a tepid "hold," and two a "strong sell." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $28.11 is a 28.9% premium to current levels. 

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