U.S. stock futures are trading broadly lower this morning, as yesterday’s rally evaporated overnight. Traders are considerably more risk averse this morning, with the Federal Reserve’s meeting at Jackson Hole on tap and President Donald Trump threatening to shut down the government in order to secure funding for the Mexico border wall.
As a result, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures have fallen 0.34%, Nasdaq-100 futures have dropped 0.45% and S&P 500 futures have shed 0.42%.
On the options front, volume remained consistent on Tuesday, with about 13.9 million calls and 12.3 million puts crossing the tape. On the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio hit another one-month low of 0.55, pushing the 10-day moving average another notch lower to 0.73.
Turning to Tuesday’s options activity, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) saw heavy call activity ahead of this morning’s earnings report, but with the shares down more than 6% pre-market, those bulls are in for a rude morning. Meanwhile, Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) was also popular among call traders in the wake of its own quarterly earnings report. Finally, Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) leapt 7% and saw a smattering of call activity following a report showing it was gaining popularity among teenage social media users.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)
LOW stock options activity was impressive on Tuesday. Volume surged to more than six times LOW’s daily average, topping out at more than 100,000 contracts. What’s more, quite a few of those speculators had bullish intentions, with call options making up 62% of the day’s take. It was a narrative backed heavily by LOW’s September put/call open interest ratio, which rested at an annual low of 0.15 heading into the company’s quarterly earnings report this morning.
That bullish outlook was shattered a few hours ago, however, with Lowe’s missing expectations on both the top and bottom line. The home-improvement firm said it earned $1.57 per share on revenue of $19.5 billion, missing Wall Street’s targets for $1.62 per share and $19.53 billion in sales. Furthermore, Lowe’s signaled slower margin growth going forward.
With bullish hopes dashed, LOW stock was last seen down more than 4% premarket.
Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM)
CRM stock options traders also put out bullish vibes on Tuesday ahead of what turned out to be better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Salesforce.com after the close last night. Volume spiked to just shy of six times CRM’s average daily options volume, with some 98,000 contracts changing hands on the session. Call options made up 63% of the overall take, more or less reflecting the bullish sentiment from CRM’s September put/call OI ratio of 0.4.
By the numbers, Salesforce.com said it earned 33 cents per share on revenue of $2.56 billion in the second quarter, versus Wall Street’s targets for earnings of 32 cents on sales of $2.52 billion. What’s more, the company lifted full-year guidance above the consensus estimate, projecting sales of $10.4 billion and earnings of $1.29 per share to $1.31 per share. The consensus was targeting revenue of $10.29 billion and earnings of $1.30 per share.
Despite the strong numbers, they apparently weren’t strong enough to meet bullish expectations heading into the report, as CRM stock is down more than 2% heading into the open.
Snap Inc (SNAP)
SNAP stock kept its recent rally alive yesterday when it spiked more than 7% following a new report on teen social media habits. According to a report by eMarketer, U.S. users between the ages of 12 and 17 are increasingly choosing Snapchat over Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The report, which echoed similar results from a Piper Jaffray poll from earlier this year, marked the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline in Facebook usage. However, Facebook wasn’t completely out of the picture, as its Instagram service proved nearly as popular as Snapchat among teens.
But while SNAP stock traders jumped on the bullish bandwagon yesterday, options traders were a bit slower to buy into the hype. Volume on SNAP rose to 108,000 contracts, just shy of the stock’s average daily options activity.
Furthermore, calls only accounted for 58% of the day’s take, hinting that speculative SNAP options traders were already tapped out following last week’s rally, or were reluctant to chase the shares further. Either way, SNAP’s September put/call OI ratio continued to edge lower, slipping to 1.02 today from Monday’s reading of 1.07 and down sharply from 1.30 roughly two weeks ago.
As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.