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Tuesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

Options activity provides a look at expectations on AAPL, BABA and VRX

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U.S. stock futures are trading lower this morning, as Wall Street eyes a rally in crude oil amid another influx of corporate earnings. At last check, crude was up slightly at $49.32 per barrel after Saudi Arabia said it would cut supplies to Asia by up to 10% in September. Meanwhile, oil watchers are keeping tabs on the ongoing OPEC meeting to see if the cartel will back measures to enforce production caps.

Tuesday’s Vital Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)At last check, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.08%, Nasdaq-100 futures were off by 0.23% and S&P 500 futures were lagging by 0.14%.

On the options front, volume was rather anemic on Monday, as only about 11.2 million calls and 10.1 million puts changed hands to start the week. Meanwhile, the CBOE single-session equity put/call volume ratio rebounded to 0.77, driving the 10-day moving average to another four-month high of 0.68.

Turning to Monday’s options activity, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with India’s Prime Minister recently to talk iPhone production and the company just bought India-based Eros Group’s entire content library of movies and music. Elsewhere, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) signed a deal with Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) to book rooms for the travel company. Finally, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) released its second-quarter earnings this morning.

Tuesday’s Vital Options Data: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

During his recent visit to the U.S. to speak with business leaders, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have spoken directly with Apple CEO Tim Cook about AAPL’s first assembled-in-India iPhone. Apple is currently attempting to open Apple stores in India, and is in talks with the government there on duty waivers.

Additionally, Apple just bought Eros Group’s entire library of music and movies for $1 billion. Eros’ streaming service, Eros Now, is often referred to as the Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) of Bollywood.

Apple options traders, meanwhile, appeared to overlook the news, as volume was relatively light for AAPL stock. Roughly 824,000 contracts changed hands on AAPL, with calls nabbing about 66% of the day’s take. Despite Monday’s preference for calls, short-term AAPL traders are more heavily focused on puts. For instance, the August put/call open interest ratio currently rests at 0.93, with calls and puts in near parity.

AAPL options traders’ attention to puts may have a more technical focus, as AAPL stock is struggling with overhead resistance in the $160 region.

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