Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is up over 5% Monday, and is getting a boost with Bank of America analyst John Murphy raising his price target from $20 to $22 on the U.S. automaker.
Bullish traders are clearly happy with the news, as Ford is trading higher on heavy volume with over 98 million shares traded, just below the 10-day average of 106 million shares.
Also notable is the level of options activity with over 722,000 options traded on the day (see below).
Of the 720,000-plus options traded, over 574,000 of them are calls and 148,000 puts, which translates to 79 out of every 100 options being calls on the day.
Why It Matters: Any time 80% of the options on a stock are calls, it suggests option traders are heavily bullish on the stock. Considering Ford is at multimonth highs, it also means option traders are happy to be buying at these high prices and are expecting a further increase.
Another advantage bullish traders have is the majority of options out there (prior to Monday) are longer-dated options (Dec/Jan expiries). This means there aren’t any short-term pressures on the stock from the Nov. 26 expiry coming up.
What’s Next: Of the 772,000-plus options traded today, about 250,000 are short-dated, with the largest strikes by volume between $20 and $21 (image below).
This suggests that in the short-term, the stock should be able to pin around the $20-21 prices. Looking beyond this toward the Dec. 17 op-ex, there is strong volume and open interest between $20 and $22, intimating the stock has fuel to hit the BofA price target of $22 and buying interest around $20.
Should the stock lose the $20 handle, then there are decent option flows and interest down towards $18.
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