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Intraday Options Action: ATVI Call Buyers Eye More Upside

Josh Selway

Combing through today's options trading data, there's been unusual options trading on Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). Traders are opening out-of-the-money calls in the January 2020 series, specifically at the 62.50 and 65 strikes, the two most popular contracts today.

Those buying the back-month contracts expect ATVI shares to rise from their current perch of $58.43 to the $62.50 and $65 levels -- respective gains of 7% and 11.2% -- over the next month or so. The video game stock has recently been pushing higher thanks to its 80-day moving average. It's not surprising, then, to note that call buying has been popular at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), based on the 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.84.

Another name seeing unusual options trading is retailer Childrens Place Inc (NASDAQ:PLCE), as the shares try to bounce back from last week's three-year lows prompted by a dreary sales forecast. With the stock last seen up 5.5% at $61.37, put and call volumes are both accelerated.

Going deeper, most popular today is the March 70 put, where new positions are opening, potentially bears betting on more downside. Also popular are the weekly 1/3 61- and 62-strike calls, with new positions opening at both.

Outside the options pits, we'll be watching the short interest levels on PLCE, since an enormous 47.3% of the float is held by short sellers. The shares have been struggling for more than a year, so long-term bears likely have done well.