By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network
Bullish investors are looking to shout "Yahoo!" for
if they collect profits from the rally they expect to see throughout earnings season.
Looking at the Aug. 15 calls, at least one investor expressed bullishness and boosted volume in these near-the-money options. The investor bought 20,000 contracts for $1.10 a piece with the stock at $14.65. The Aug. 15 calls are currently up five cents on the day and are home to current open interest of just 207, suggesting that today's volume will translate as new positions tomorrow.
Shares of the second-most visited Web site (according to Web information company Alexa) have rallied 65% since reaching a 52-week low of $8.95 on Nov. 20, but they are nearly 70% off their 52-week high of $24.64, which Yahoo! reached on July 8, 2008.
Normal daily options volume for Yahoo! is about 35,000 contracts compared to the 45,000 contracts that changed hands today. The bulk of that volume changed hands on the Aug. 15 calls.
Although Yahoo! did not announce significant news today, at least one investor is betting these shares will rally higher than $15 in the August expiration month. The investor needs Yahoo! shares to expire higher than $16.10 to make money. The stock dropped 23 cents to close at $14.68 today.
Investors should not run out and buy Yahoo! shares just because of heavy call buying activity in the name. I recently wrote about some heavy put buying activity in technology companies
, but at least one investor is playing contrary to this bearish trend in the technology sector.
Jud Pyle, CFA, is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network. Pyle started his career in finance in 1994 as a derivative analyst with SBC Warburg. After four years with Warburg, Pyle joined PEAK6 Investments, L.P., in 1998 as an equity options trader and as chief risk officer. A native of Minneapolis, Pyle received his bachelor's degree in economics and history from Colgate University in 1994. As a trader, Pyle traded on average over 5,000 contracts per day, and over 1.2 million contracts per year. He also built the stock group for all PEAK6 Investments, L.P. hedging, which currently trades on average over 5 million shares per day, and over 1 billion shares per year. Further, from 2004-06, he managed the trading and risk management for PEAK6 Investments L.P.'s lead market-maker operation on the former PCX exchange, which traded more than 10,000 contracts per day. Pyle is the "Mad About Options" resident expert. He is also a regular contributor to "Options Physics."