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U.S. stock futures are trading slightly lower ahead of the bell. In early morning trading, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.16%, and S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.23%. Nasdaq-100 futures have shed 0.63%.
In the options pits, fear officially left the building, at least if put volumes are any indication. They sank to their lowest levels in recent memory. By day's end, only 12.7 million puts changed hands compared to 15.1 million calls.
The ebb in put demand was felt at the CBOE as well, with the single-session equity put/call volume ratio slamming back down to 0.63. That places it in the center of the past few months range. Meanwhile, the 10-day moving average held its ground at 0.66.
Options traders targeted the following three stocks: Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU ), Disney (NYSE: DIS ) and Snap (NYSE: SNAP ).
Let's take a closer look:
A strong earnings report sent Lululemon stock to record highs on Thursday. For the first quarter, the athletic apparel company earned 74 cents per share on revenue of $782 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 70 cents on $755 million revenue.
LULU also raised its full-year guidance to between $3.73 and $3.77 billion in revenue and earnings per share between $4.51 and $4.58.
The stock opened 6.5% higher, but sellers erased the bulk of the gains by day's end. That said, Lululemon stock still sits above all its moving averages, and the long-term trend remains healthy as a horse. Wait for a close above the $180 resistance to signal buyers are ready to sustain a breakout.
On the options trading front, calls won the day by a modest margin. Total activity rocketed to 744% of the average daily volume, with 128,810 contracts traded. Calls claimed 56% of the tally.
The post-earnings volatility crush was on full display, sending implied volatility into the basement. At 29%, it now sits at the 19th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are now pricing in daily moves of $3.16, or 1.8%.
The mouse house was rockin' Thursday after receiving some love from Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne. By day's end, DIS stock rose 4% bringing it within a whisker of a new record high.
In the research piece, the bank raised their price target for DIS shares from $135 to $160 citing a lofty forecast for the number of subscribers buying into Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus. By 2024, the firm thinks the number could rise as high as 130 million, which should deliver a substantial boost to Disney's bottom line.
On the options trading front, traders came after calls with a vengeance. Activity swelled to 516% of the average daily volume, with 372,538 total contracts traded. 85% of the trading came from call options alone.
The uptick in demand drove implied volatility higher to 29%, placing it at the 29th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are now baking in daily moves of $2, or 1.4%.
The news was light for Snap shares, but that didn't keep traders from gobbling up call options on the surging social media stock. The 2019 recovery accelerated this month with a rousing two-month breakout that has lifted SNAP stock just shy of a new 52-week high.
Volume patterns are supporting the bulls' campaign with multiple accumulation days cropping up. The past five days have seen tight consolidation form near resistance. The lack of any giveback after last week's rip-roaring rally is impressive and reveals the continued strength of buying beneath the surface.
On the options trading front, calls proved far more popular than puts. Total activity grew to 155% of the average daily volume, with 143,455 contracts traded. Calls accounted for 71% of the session's sum.
Uncertainty has dwindled dramatically with implied volatility now down to 48%. That places it at the 13th percentile of its one-year range, suggesting premiums are quite cheap. The expected daily move is now 43 cents, or 3%.
As of this writing, Tyler Craig held bullish options positions in DIS. Check out his recently releasedBear Market Survival Guideto learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility.
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