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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

J.C. Penney Calls Change Hands As Shares Extend Rally

JCP – J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Trading in weekly options that expire one week from Friday looks for shares in J.C. Penney to continue to push to the upside in the near term. Shares in JCP are up more than 6.0% this morning at a two-month high of $9.95, having rallied approximately 60% off a record low of $6.24 reached back on October 22nd.

Upside calls expiring at the end of next week are active this morning, with fresh interest in the Dec 06 ’13 $10 and $10.5 strike calls looking for the stock to extend gains. Around 3,000 of the $10 strike calls have changed hands so far today against zero open interest, with much of the volume purchased in the early going at an average premium of $0.24 each. Buyers of these contracts stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that JCP shares settle above the average breakeven point at $10.24. Volume in the Dec 06 ’13 $10.5 strike calls is pushing toward 700 contracts as of the time of this writing, with much of the interest buying the calls at an average premium of $0.13 each. Traders long the $10.5 strike calls stand ready to profit at expiration next week if shares in the retailer rise 7.0% over the current price of $9.95 to exceed the breakeven point at $10.63. 

TSLA – Tesla Motors Inc. – Shares in electric carmaker Tesla Motors are vacillating between negative and positive today, currently down 0.40% at $120.00 just before 11:00 a.m. EST.  

Trading in far out of the money put options on TSLA in the early going today suggests one options player may be positioning for shares in the name to continue to decline during the next few weeks. What appears to be a bear put spread on Tesla could be an outright bearish play on the stock or disaster insurance to hedge a long position in the underlying shares.

It looks like the trader purchased a 1,000-lot regular Dec $80/$90 put spread, paying a net premium of $0.40 each. The spread makes money if shares in Tesla drop 25% from the current price of $120.00 to breach the breakeven point on the downside at $89.60, with maximum potential profits of $9.60 per contract available in the event that shares plunge 33% to $80.00. Shares in Tesla are down roughly 40% since reaching a record high of $194.50 on September 30th, though the stock still trades up 275% since this time last year. 

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