Many investors brush off or ignore options trading because options are complex and misunderstood. However, many other traders have learned how to “follow the flow.”
In other words, they want to know what the big funds and institutions are doing. When these buyers make their move in the options world, they leave a trail behind them — footsteps.
We can follow those footsteps when looking for unusual options activity.
How? Fintel provides a leaderboard of options activity for both calls and puts, helping investors keep track of it all when we see outsized volume. Let’s look at some of the most interesting action of the past week.
Intel (US:INTC) tops our options flow leaderboard over the past week, which is not surprising given the flurry of activity we’ve seen in the stock after the chip maker cut its dividend by 65%.
On Feb. 22, there were several sizable put sales in the January 2024 expiration, including $1.95 million of the $45 puts, $1.89 million of the $52.50 puts, $4.4 million of the $47.5 puts and $46 million of the $45 puts.
There was also $12.67 million worth of the June 2023 $45 puts sold and $4.59 million of the June $42.50 puts sold.
All of these trades occurred with Intel stock trading near $25.50.
The put-sellers were back on Feb. 27, selling another $1.375 million of $52.50 puts and $2.7 million of the $47.50 puts, both expiring in January 2024. The June $42.50 puts also popped up, which were sold for $2.62 million, along with $3 million worth of the March $35 puts.
That said, someone also bought a bearish position of $4.4 million of the June $45 puts.
Next on the list is Alibaba (US:BABA). It’s much less exhausting than Intel, although the three trades all centered on put sales as well.
That’s as someone sold $14.8 million worth of the deep-in-the-money June $195 puts when Alibaba stock was trading near $89, and as $8.45 million worth of the June $210 puts were also sold.
A few minutes later, another $8.46 million of the June $195 puts were sold.
Seemingly everyone’s favorite electric vehicle maker, Tesla (US:TSLA) is finally on the list.
That’s after someone sold $5.57 million of the March $212.50 puts, which were slightly in-the-money with shares trading near $207.50. It’s also after someone spent $1.175 million on the April $205 calls.
However, it was hard to ignore the $15 million worth of the December $295 puts that were sold just two seconds into the open on Feb. 22, or the $2.5 million worth of the March 3 $200 calls that were sold on Feb. 23.
Overall, Tesla had several seven-figure options trades placed in the last week.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN)
We’ve had casino operator Wynn Resorts (US:WYNN) on the leaderboard before, but never like this.
That’s as one trader bought $43 million worth of the in-the-money June $90 calls just as shares were trading near $107 at the time.
AMC Entertainment (AMC)
Movie theatre operator AMC Entertainment (US:AMC) continues to surface on the radar of many investors amid a surging stock price, which nearly doubled over the last three weeks, fueled, in part, by Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets chatter.
There are a lot of short-dated, in-the-money put sales taking place, but some of the bigger straight bets were hard to ignore. That included a $3.18 million purchase of the May $10 puts.
It also includes a $2.28 million sale of the April $6 puts and the $4.85 million spent on the June $6 puts over a series of roughly a dozen trades.
Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG)
As one of the largest companies in the US and one of three US companies with a trillion-dollar valuation, Alphabet (US:GOOG, US:GOOGL) is bound to see some strong options flow. Several transactions stand out, as Alphabet was trading near $89.
A deep-in-the-money June $120 put was bought on GOOG for $9.07 million, while a March $110 put was bought on GOOG for $6.07 million.
At the same exact time, another large set of trades occurred in GOOGL. That’s as someone paid $5.56 million for the June $155 puts and another sold $5.29 million of the June $130 puts.
Meanwhile, another trader sold $1.5 million of the March $120 puts and bought $1.895 million of the March $110 puts.
Meta Platforms (META)
Sticking with big tech, Meta Platforms (US:META) also made the list with two trades standing out the most.
That’s as someone sold $6.78 million of the deep-in-the-money January 2024 $305 puts, while buying $11.77 million of the January 2025 $300 puts.
Shares were trading near $169 at the time of the trade.
Cloud computing data-as-a-service provider Snowflake (US:SNOW) had an eye-popping volume of bullish options flow in mid-February and those buyers were back over the last few days as well.
Someone sold $2.1 million of at-the-money April $150 puts on Feb. 21, another bought $3.44 million of the July $230 calls on Feb. 22nd, while another sold $3.9 million worth of the April $150 puts (again).
Two sessions later on Feb. 27, someone sold another $2.27 million of the April $150 puts, which was also the preferred contract earlier this month.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (US:AMD) made the list with some heavy action on Feb. 22.
That’s as one trader sold $3.2 million of the deep-in-the-money January $95 puts. It’s also as someone sold $3.75 million worth March $120 puts, while buying $1.68 million of the March $100 puts.
Lastly, on Feb. 23, someone bought $1.26 million of the January 2024 at-the-money $80 puts.
Moderna (US:MRNA) rounds out our list with a ton of post-earnings options flow. The vaccine maker missed fourth quarter earnings expectations, as management pointed to higher costs from surplus production capacity and lower demand for its Covid-19 vaccine.
On Feb. 23, someone bought $3.17 million of the deep-in-the-money March $200 puts while Moderna stock was trading near $147, and also bought $3.3 million of the March $210 puts.
About 10 minutes later, someone bought another $3.3 million worth of the March $210 puts and sold over $3.1 million worth of the March $200 puts.
A day later on Feb. 24, $15 million worth of the January 2024 $270 puts were sold. Further, roughly $8.8 million worth of the March $190 puts were sold, while more than $9 million were spent on the March $200 puts.
This article originally appeared on Fintel
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