Unusual Options Activity: Apple (AAPL)

Bet on shares collapsing by late October. Shares of Apple (AAPL) could fall by nearly 50 percent in the next 70 days—at least, if the surge in October $105 put options on Thursday is any indication. With shares around $202, the $105 strike price is essentially a bet that shares will drop in half. With over 2,800 of these contracts trading against an open interest of 190, that’s a 15-fold surge in volume on this deeply bearish trade. These options cost the buyer $0.02, or $2 per contract. So it’s likely that it won’t be held until the option’s expiration. But on a ...
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Mortgage Rates Hit Three-Year Low

Drop in carrying costs could boost home prices. 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.60 for the week ending Thursday, down from 3.75 percent the week before, based on data from Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s down nearly one full point from the same time a year ago, when the 30-year rate averaged 4.59 percent. 15-year rates also fell, averaging 3.05 percent, down from 3.20 percent one week ago and 4.05 percent one year ago. Mortgage rates are essential to the economy, as they impact the price of housing. Many consumers base their home buying on affordability, and lower mortgage rates allows buyers ...
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Oil Hits Seven Month Low

Trade fears, supply rise, fuel drop in prices. Oil prices have slid further in recent days thanks to rising fears that trade war tensions between the U.S. and China will significantly cut back on global trade. Less trade means less energy use, which in turn has sent oil prices lower. Adding to these short-term fears as weekly data indicates an inventory build after a few weeks of sharp declines. Finally, geopolitical events, like high Middle East tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, are adding a wild card to prices—but one that is quickly losing its luster as the region has gotten quiet in ...
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Insider Activity: Archer-Daniels Midland Co (ADM)

CFO makes six-figure buy. On Tuesday, August 6th, Ray Young, CFO at Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM), picked up 3,400 shares. His total cost came to just under $125,000. The buy increases his holdings at the company to over 353,000 shares. As the head of finance at a company, a CFO buy is a strong buy signal for investors, as the company may have more room to run ahead, or is otherwise undervalued on a fundamental basis. Trading at 16 times earnings and 11 times forward earnings, the agricultural commodity producer and provider certainly looks like a value play here. Shares are down 25 percent ...
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Safe Havens Surge as Stocks Skid

Treasuries, gold, and cryptocurrencies rally as stocks fall. U.S. 10-year Treasury bonds fell below a 1.6 percent yield on Wednesday, as investors continued to pile into the safe haven of government bonds. As bonds are quoted by their yields, not their price, a falling yield indicates a rising price. Other assets seeing a rise in prices right now include gold. The metal popped over $1,500 per ounce on Wednesday, still at a six-year high. Gold prices last peaked in 2011 at $1,900 per ounce, and last bottomed in 2016 at $1,050 per ounce. Finally, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are also seen as a safe haven ...
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Unusual Options Activity: The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

Bet on shares hitting new highs in next 13 months. Shares of The Walt Disney Company (DIS) sold off on Wednesday, following an earnings miss. Although shares are still up for the year, one trader is making an unusual bet that shares will head back to new all-time highs by September 2020. That’s based on the surge in trading on the September 2020 $170 calls—about 26 percent higher than where shares traded around $135 following their earnings miss. There’s a lot to like about the media giant, which is dominating the box office this year. In fact, the company set a record for ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Beyond Meat (BYND)

Big bet on rally in August. Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND) may rally over 50 percent between now and August 30th. That’s the bet behind the surge in August 30th $250 calls on the plant-based meat alternative company, whose shares currently trade around $160. On Tuesday, over 2,100 of the options traded against an open interest just under 200, for an 11-fold increase in volume.   Last week, the company reported that it quadrupled its sales as part of its earnings report. Despite those numbers, shares lagged on news that the company was issuing more shares, diluting existing shareholders. As a recent IPO, shares have ...
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Insider Activity: Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE)

Key director adds to stake. On Monday, August 5th, Sean Downes bought another 1,100 shares of Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE), where he has served as CEO in the past and now serves as director. The total cost of the additional shares came to just over $29,000, and increases his total holdings in the company to 1,431,833 shares. Downes has been a buyer in shares in mid-June as well as back in May at higher prices. Universal develops, markets, and underwrites insurance with a focus on residential homeowner’s insurance and other related products. The company is one of the few firms that ensure for ...
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