U.S. stock futures are trading higher this morning as buyers attempt to extend the market rally for a fifth consecutive day.
Heading into the open, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.25%, and S&P 500 futures are higher by 0.33%. Nasdaq-100 futures have added 0.52%.
In the options pits, calls continued to dominate the landscape while overall volume settled near average levels. By day’s end, some 16.8 million calls and 15.4 million puts changed hands.
Over at the CBOE the single-session equity put/call volume ratio inched higher to 0.66. Meanwhile, the 10-day moving average remained near 0.70.
Options traders swarmed in the following stocks. Snap (NYSE:SNAP) soared on an upgrade by Pivotal Research. Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) reported its first earnings announcement as a public company and is exploding 26% higher. Finally, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) jumped 8% after scoring an upgrade from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
Let’s take a closer look:
This recovery in Snap shares went into overdrive this week. We highlighted the rousing breakout on Wednesday, but the buying binge isn’t over. Yesterday, the social media company added another 6.8% to its share price after an analyst upgrade at Pivotal Research. The firm changed their rating to buy from hold and boosted SNAP’s price target to $17.25 from $13.25, citing “increasing signs of momentum in the business.”
Trading volumes shot through the roof with over 57.5 million shares changing hands. It marks the most active trading session for SNAP stock since April’s earnings release. Its price trend is now a thing of beauty. With this week’s breakout, Snap shares now sit above a rising 20-day and 50-day moving average. The 200-day is starting to flatten out but needs some time yet before reversing higher.
On the options trading front, traders went cuckoo for call options. Activity zoomed to 374% of the average daily volume, with 267,179 total contracts traded; 70% of the trading came from call options alone.
Implied volatility held steady at 56% or the 29th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are pricing in daily moves of 49 cents or 3.5%.
Beyond Meat (BYND)
Traders bidding Beyond Meat shares to the moon after last month’s IPO finally got a peek at their earnings to see if all the gains were justified.
It turns out they were, and then some.
For the first quarter, the company reported a net loss of $6.6 million. On an adjusted basis that translates into 14 cents per share. Revenue jumped by 215% compared to last year’s first quarter, reaching $40.2 million. Analysts were expecting $38.9 million according to Refinitiv.
BYND stock is trading up 25% to a new record high in premarket trading.
On the options trading front, calls slightly outpaced puts ahead of the report. Total activity jumped to 272% of the average daily volume, with 132,707 contracts traded. Calls accounted for 53% of the trading.
Options were only pricing in a move of $11.67, so the monster $24.42 gap blew expectations out of the water. Chalk this up as a massive win for volatility buyers ahead of the event.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Advanced Micro Devices remains a mainstay atop the options leaderboard. The reason for Thursday’s inclusion is obvious — the stock exploded, gaining 7.9%. Shareholders with profit-filled pockets can thank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) for the gift. The investment bank finally changed their negative tune on AMD, upgrading their rating from underweight to equal weight. They also finally lifted their price target from $17 to $28. Nevermind that AMD stock had already made the move (and then some)!
The price chart of Advanced Micro Devices is a dream. For all of 2019, it’s toed the bullish line, providing profits to all dip buyers and breakout chasers. The next stop is its record high of $34.14 and beyond.
On the options trading front, traders came after calls with a vengeance. Activity climbed to 266% of the average daily volume, with 745,140 total contracts traded. Calls claimed 65% of the session’s sum.
The increased demand drove implied volatility slightly higher on the day to 56%, placing it at the 31st percentile of its one-year range. The expected daily move is $1.13 or 3.6%.
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.
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