U.S. stock futures are trading sharply lower this morning as recession fears return to the fore.
Heading into the open, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.71% and S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.61%. Nasdaq-100 futures have lost 0.80%.
In the options pits, overall volumes were surprisingly light given the beatdown that carried stocks into the close. Call volume led the way outpacing puts by half a million contracts. Specifically, about 15.2 million calls and 14.7 million puts changed hands on the session.
The action was similar at the CBOE, where the single-session equity put/call volume ratio fell to 0.68 — a one-week low. Meanwhile, the 10-day moving average dipped to 0.71.
With that in mind, the following three stocks had options traders swarming. Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA) plunged after the company announced an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over its involvement in opioids. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) had analysts cheering over its debut of several new products at Computex, a trade show in Taipei, Taiwan. Finally, General Electric (NYSE:GE) saw a jump in call activity on an otherwise uninspiring day from its stock performance.
Let’s take a closer look:
Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA)
Teva Pharmaceuticals shares plunged 12.4% after the company announced it paid out $85 million to settle claims against the company. The payment went to the state of Oklahoma after they argued TEVA was partly responsible for the opioid epidemic. With other potential lawsuits looming, investors are heading for the hills to avoid further fallout from the public backlash.
TEVA stock was already entrenched in a steep downtrend. Tuesday’s whack only intensified the descent. We’re now plumbing levels not seen since the year 2000. With all but the oldest of shareholders sitting on losing positions expect major overhead resistance to weigh heavily on the stock for weeks to come.
On the options trading front, traders favored puts on the session. Activity jumped to 382% of the average daily volume, with 169,399 total contracts traded. Puts claimed 54% of the tally.
The increased demand drove implied volatility through the roof to 66%. That places it at the 88th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are baking in daily moves of 39 cents or 4.1%.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
While equities at large were slumping yesterday, Advanced Micro Devices was soaring. The chipmaker ripped 9.8% amid a warm reception to its debut of new products at a trade show. Analysts from Stifel, Cowen and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all praised the company’s announcements arguing AMD is poised for robust growth in the second half of 2019.
AMD stock’s price jump completed a six-week bull flag that had the stock in a narrow range. The upside breakout puts it a few cents from a new closing high for the year. Look for continued leadership in the months to come.
On the options trading front, calls were the clear winner on the session. Total activity grew to 272% of the average daily volume, with 686,953 total contracts traded; 67% of the trading came from call options alone.
Implied volatility ticked higher to 53% or the 26th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are now baking in daily moves of 97 cents or 3.3%.
General Electric (GE)
The price action in General Electric was subdued but that didn’t prevent traders from coming after call options. The groundswell in activity was enough to propel GE stock to the No. 3 spot atop the leaderboard.
With last week’s descent, GE fell back below its 20-day and 50-day moving averages. It has been submerged beneath the 200-day for ages. Despite the single day uptick in call volumes, bears remain clearly in control of the overall price trend. Until resistance at $10.50 is shattered, their dominance will continue.
On the options trading front, calls ruled the roost on Tuesday. By day’s end, total activity climbed to 194% of the average daily volume, with 353,494 contracts traded; 58% of the trading came from call options.
Implied volatility held steady at 43% placing it at the 31st percentile of its one-year range. The expected daily moves are 25 cents or 2.7%.
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.