U.S. stock futures are trading lower this morning amid weak China trade data and continued global slowdown worries.
Ahead of the bell, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.77% and S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.73%. Nasdaq-100 futures have shed 0.90%.
In the options pits, call volume won the day as overall volumes lifted on the day. Specifically, about 17.9 million calls and 16.1 million puts changed hands on the session.
Fear’s return was felt at the CBOE, with the single-session equity put/call volume ratio rising to 0.77 – a three week high. Meanwhile, the 10-day moving average ticked higher to 0.63.
Here were three stocks atop the most-actives list. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) shares fell 9.4% after announcing a split with game developer Bungie. General Motors (NYSE:GM) soared on upbeat earnings guidance. Finally, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) rocketed higher after their largest shareholder revealed they won’t be selling shares this week when the lock-up period expires.
Let’s take a closer look:
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)
Last week’s recovery in Activision shares came to a crashing end on Friday after the video game giant announced it would end its partnership with Bungie, developer of the hit game Destiny.
By day’s end, ATVI stock was down over 9% amid heavy selling pressure. The price plunge returned Activision to crucial support near its 52-week low and has the stock knocking on the door of another potential breakdown.
A host of analysts cut their price targets in the wake of the news.
On the options trading front, calls outpaced puts on the session despite the outsized price drop. Total activity ballooned to 998% of the average daily volume, with 140,816 total contracts traded. 65% of the trading came from call options.
Implied volatility held steady at 50%, placing it at the 52nd percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are pricing in daily moves of $1.46 or 3.1%.
General Motors (GM)
General Motors shares were flying high Friday after the automaker provided positive earnings guidance. Investors enthusiastically bid GM stock up by 7.05% amid heavy volume.
In the company’s statement, they said their 2018 earnings should exceed previous estimates provided in October. Furthermore, they offered better-than-expected projections for 2019 including adjusted earnings per share between $6.50 and $7.
With Friday’s rally, GM is now close to departing the whippy price range it has been stuck in for the past three months.
On the options trading front, calls won the day by a wide margin. Total activity increased to 712% of the average daily volume, with 255,222 total contracts traded. Calls accounted for 68% of the day’s take.
Uncertainty melted alongside Friday’s rally, driving implied volatility down to 35%, or the 52nd percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are now pricing in daily moves of 82 cents or 2.2%.
Investors worrying about the expiration of Tilray’s lock-up period breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after Privateer Holdings said it plans to maintain its large position. As the largest shareholder of TLRY stock, had the fund decided to liquidate its position it undoubtedly would have exerted heavy pressure on the Cannabis company’s share price.
TLRY jumped 19.4% on the news, climbing back above its 50-day moving average for the first time since last November.
On the options trading front, calls were hot alongside the price jump. Total activity ramped to 409% of the average daily volume, with 151,653 total contracts traded. Calls contributed 68% of the session’s tally.
Implied volatility jumped to 143%, reflecting increased uncertainty.
As of this writing, Tyler Craig didn’t hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility.