U.S. stock futures are rebounding this morning on easing global tensions. Stocks are rebounding on the promise of resumed U.S./China trade talks and a $15 billion investment in Turkey by Qatar. Strong quarterly reports from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) are also helping boost sentiment.
Against this backdrop, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.82% with S&P 500 futures adding 0.54%. Nasdaq-100 futures, meanwhile, have rallied 0.77%.
In the options pits, volume was intense amid yesterday’s selloff. Overall, puts led the way with 24.3 million contracts trading, compared to 22.4 million calls. On the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio remained flat at 0.66. The 10-day moving average held at 0.63.
Options traders piled into technology stocks yesterday, with Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) calls in focus despite a Wells Fargo price-target cut. Macy’s (NYSE:M) activity was divided on reports of dwindling market share. Finally, Netflix (NADSAQ:NFLX) joined the tech rout as news of its CFO’s exit spread.
Let’s take a closer look:
Micron Technology (MU)
MU stock fell to its lowest level since May after Wells Fargo cut its price target on the shares. The Wells analyst cut MU from $70-per-share to $63, citing lowered expectations for pricing strength in DRAM and NAND flash memory chips. Wells Fargo kept its “Outperform” rating.
The move came amid a broad selloff in the semiconductor sector yesterday, pushing MU stock down more than 6%. Options traders, however, saw the selloff as an opportunity to bet bullish.
Volume rose to 442,000 contracts yesterday, more than double MU’s daily average. Calls made up a respectable 60% of yesterday’s activity. Looking out to September, the put/call open interest ratio comes in at 0.60, with calls on the verge of doubling puts for the back-month series. In short, MU options traders remain broadly bullish despite Wells Fargo’s concerns.
In the blitz before the open yesterday, I noted that Macy’s stock was falling despite reporting what appeared to be strong quarterly results. As the market digested the retailer’s report, however, analysts noted that Macy’s was continuing to lose market share. Market share concerns sent M stock down nearly 16% on the day.
M options traders were clearly hotly divided. Volume surged once again to more than 291,000 contracts, or about 11 times M stock’s daily average volume. Calls claimed a small majority on the day, eeking out 51% of the session’s take.
Peak August put OI rested at the $36 strike yesterday, and those M bears will be collecting profits today with August options expiring tomorrow. Looking ahead to September, the put/call OI ratio comes in at a more optimistic 0.55, though that ratio could shift following this week’s plunge.
NFLX stock joined the tech rout yesterday, dropping more than 3% to hit three-month lows. While the overall market decline in tech stocks exacerbated NFLX’s decline, spreading reports that 14-year veteran CFO David Wells would be stepping down also undermined sentiment.
Options activity on NFLX came in above average during yesterday’s brisk trading. Volume topped 259,000 contracts, with calls managing a win with 55% of the day’s take. That said, there is a bearish mood on NFLX heading into September.
Currently, the September put/call OI ratio rests at 1.08, with puts slowly claiming the upper hand. NFLX’s recent poor price action is driving this sentiment, with the stock down 28% in the past month.
As of this writing, Joseph Hargett did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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