(NASDAQ:INTC) bulls have been snatching up last-minute calls at the June 24.50 strike, which expires at the sound of today's closing bell. In fact, roughly 18% of INTC's intraday call volume of 56,000 has crossed at the strike for a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.06. Almost all of these contracts went off at the ask price, and volume is outstripping open interest, hinting at buy-to-open activity.
In order for today's call buyers
to profit from their play, INTC -- docked at $24.25 as of 1:37 p.m. ET -- has to scoot northward a mere 1.3% to finish above the breakeven price of $24.56 (strike price plus the VWAP) by the end of the today's session. As of now, prospects are unclear, considering INTC sits just 0.2% higher than it did at the opening bell. If the stock continues to linger below the 24.50 strike, today's call buyers stand to lose their initial premium paid.
Technically, INTC has advanced almost 23% from the start of 2013 to its year-to-date high of $25.98, reached on June 4, before stooping to its current levels. Despite Intel's recent pullback, speculators during the last 10 sessions have bought to open
more than two INTC calls for every put, according to the stock's International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.35. This ratio ranks in the 90th percentile of its annual range, meaning calls have been accumulated over puts at a quicker pace just 10% of the time throughout the past year.
This article by Milissa Hudepohl was originally published on Schaeffer's Investment Research.
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