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Play the Twilio Pullback

Karee Venema

Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) stock has been in an impressive long-term uptrend, more than tripling in value on a year-over-year basis. More recently, the cloud shares hit a record high of $136 on March 21 before easing back to a historically bullish trendline, last seen up 0.7% at $123.20.

Specifically, TWLO closed Thursday's session within one standard deviation of its 40-day moving average. There have been seven other times the stock has pulled back to support at this moving average after a lengthy stretch above it, according to data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, and one month later, Twilio was up an average 6.8%, with 86% of those post-signal returns positive.

twlo stock price chart on april 5

Based on last night's close at $122.37, another move of this magnitude would put TWLO stock back near $131 -- and above its 20-day moving average, which has helped support the shares for much of 2019. Short sellers have already been hit by the stock's technical strength, and another push higher could encourage some of the weaker bearish hands to jump ship.

By the numbers, short interest on Twilio jumped 18.8% in the most recent reporting period to 8.56 million shares. This represents a healthy 11.4% of the security's available float, or 2.1 times its average daily pace of trading.

Those looking to bet on more short-term upside for TWLO may want to consider an options buying strategy, which creates a lower cost of entry and more leverage than buying a stock outright. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 54% ranks in the 18th annual percentile, indicating near-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment.

Plus, Twilio's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is perched at a lofty 76 out of a possible 100. This means the security has tended to make outsized moves on the charts over the past year, relative to what the options market was expecting.