Unusual Options Activity in AT&T, Verizon, JPMorgan and 7 Other Stocks

Many investors don’t pay attention to it, because options are too confusing and there can be multiple implications from a single data point. However, traders who are looking for opportunity often like to see their thesis line up with unusual options activity.

Simply put, when large traders or big investors (like hedge funds and investment firms) make their moves, they can often leave their footprints behind. Those footprints show up in the form of outsized options activity in the underlying stocks.

With that in mind, let’s look at 10 stocks with some heavy call flow over the last week.

AT&T (T)

Coming in at the top of this week’s leaderboard is AT&T (US:T). That’s after almost $8 million in call premium went through late on Friday (Jan. 6th).

The action came in the $16 calls, which were more than $3 in-the-money and expire in two weeks on January 20th (the regular January calls). AT&T goes ex-dividend on Monday.

JPMorgan (JPM)

The biggest US bank also had some notable options flow this week, with JPMorgan (US:JPM) coming in at No. 3 on this week’s leaderboard.

Like AT&T, the flow came in this month’s regular expiration, as one trader bought more than $12 million worth of the January $120 calls. These calls were in-the-money as shares were trading near $136. Further, the trader came back to the well later in the day, gobbling up almost $6 million in the same calls about two hours later.

In between the trade, another trader bought ~$1.5 million worth of the February $140 puts, which were also in-the-money.

American Express (AXP)

Sticking with the financials, American Express (US:AXP) also made the list. Amex hasn’t shown too much unusual options activity, with the last noteworthy exchange taking place on Halloween.

That is until January 4th, when someone bought just under $10 million worth of the January $110 calls, which were deep-in-the-money with American Express stock trading just under $150 a share.

Verizon (VZ) 

Verizon (US:VZ) made the options flow list at No. 5 with a bulk of that action coming late on Friday afternoon. With less than 30 minutes until the close, one trader paid over $6 million for the January $39 calls.

However, there was more flow in there too. At the same time that these trades were going through, someone else — or perhaps the same trader — bought almost $3 million worth of the January $40 calls.

Both calls were in-the-money, with Verizon stock trading at about $42.25 at the time and totaled more than $9 million in bullish call flow.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

Shifting gears to healthcare, Bristol-Myers Squibb (US:BMY) also stood out this week. However, there is something for the bulls and the bears to focus on.

Over $10 million worth of the in-the-money $62.50 calls were bought, which expire on January 20th and were bought on January 4th, a day before Bristol-Myers went ex-dividend.

Further, someone paid $2.9 million in premium for the in-the-money $77.5 puts, which expire in January 2024 — more than a year from now.

Credit Suisse (CS)

Finally, a non-ex-dividend-related options play for the financials has come through, this time for Credit Suisse (US:CS). The company has had all sorts of issues over the last year, but at least one trader is bullish on this name.

That’s after they plunked down more than $1.2 million in call premium for the in-the-money $3 calls expiring in March. There has been some steady call flow in this stock lately, but this was certainly the most noteworthy.

Pfizer (PFE)

Pfizer (US:PFE) had some mixed but heavy options flow on Friday in its short-duration options, but the trade that stuck out the most expires in February.

That’s as one trader bought roughly $2.35 million worth of the in-the-money $45 calls on January 5th, with shares trading at $49.

Texas Instruments (TXN)

Landing our first semiconductor stock in a while, Texas Instruments (US:TXN) jumped into the Top 10 on the Options Flow Leaderboard this week.

That’s after one trader bought $2.33 million worth of the $175 calls expiring in January 2024. With more than 375 days until expiration, this long-dated out-the-money call play has some time on its side. The trade was out-of-the-money with Texas Instruments trading near $167 at the time of the trade.

Enphase Energy (ENPH)

Solar stocks have had their time in the sun, but Enphase Energy (US:ENPH) has been on a terrible run over the past few weeks. As of Friday January 6th, the stock has declined in 10 straight sessions.

However, one trader is taking a bullish stance on the name. That’s as they paid $2.31 million for the deep-in-the-money $175 calls, which were purchased when the stock was trading at $250.

Like the Texas Instruments trade, the buyer has time on their side as these calls don’t expire until January 2024.

Wells Fargo (WFC)

Last but not least, we wrap up the list with another financial stock with Wells Fargo (US:WFC).

The most notable options trade came after a $1.5 million purchase of the January $44 calls expiring in two weeks, with shares trading near $43 at the time of the trade.

However, there was also a $150,000 sale of the April $37.50 puts — a bullish options trade — along with a purchase of roughly $200,000 worth of the $46 calls expiring on January 27th.

This article originally appeared on Fintel

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.