U.S. stock futures are running higher this morning, as Wall Street heaves a sigh of relief following the first round of French elections. Investors were concerned about a potential runoff between two anti-EU candidates, but those fears were allayed after centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of voting. Stateside, Wall Street will be waiting on President Donald Trump’s “massive” tax plan, which is slated for reveal on Wednesday.
Against this backdrop, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average have surged 0.97%, S&P 500 futures have jumped 1.03% and Nasdaq-100 futures have gained 1.09%.
On the options front, volume came in well ahead of average due to the expiration of April options, with more than 18.2 million calls and 18.1 million puts crossing the tape on Friday. Over on the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio ticked lower to 0.67, while the 10-day moving average remained in three-month high territory at 0.70.
Turning to Friday’s most active options, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw call volume slip despite data that there could be nearly 70 million potential customers waiting for an iPhone 8. Elsewhere, Visa Inc (NYSE:V) drew heavy call volume after topping Wall Street’s second-quarter earnings expectations. Finally, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) also attracted heavy call volume after Barclays PLC upped its price target on the shares.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
While AAPL stock remains the top performer on the Dow so far this year, the shares have entered a bit of a holding pattern in recent weeks. Investors appear unsure ahead of next month’s quarterly earnings report, though analysts remain broadly positive on potential sales for the coming iPhone 8.
New data from comScore could help alleviate some fears for AAPL investors. According to comScore, there are roughly 70 million iPhone 6 and earlier users, which analysts believe could be ripe for upgrades when the new iPhone 8 is released later this year.
That said, call activity slacked off on AAPL heading into the weekend. Of the more than 722,000 contracts traded on Apple stock on Friday, only about 59% were calls — just below AAPL’s average of 62%-63%. Furthermore, earnings concerns may be bigger than many are anticipating, according to Apple’s options data.
Specifically, the 5 May put/call open interest ratio currently sits at a lofty reading of 1.25, with puts easily outnumbering calls among options most affected by Apple’s quarterly report. A bit of pessimism would be healthy for AAPL, but options traders appear to be betting on a post-earnings decline.