Are traders already tired of Facebook options?

Speculative call and put volume on the stock is off to a sleepy start this week.

By Schaeffers Investment Research Jun 11, 2012 5:14PM

Image: Stock trader with phone (© Comstock/SuperStock)It would probably be an understatement to say that Wall Street was excited about the launch of option contracts on Facebook (FB).


In fact, the International Securities Exchange issued a press release heralding the imminent launch of Facebook options back on May 15 -- three days before the stock actually made its (somewhat chaotic) public trading debut on the Nasdaq. As you might expect, Facebook options started flying off the shelves as soon as they were issued.


However, options trading in the social networking giant is off to a slow start this week. As Monday's close approached, roughly 73,000 calls and 73,000 puts had changed hands -- representing just about 60% of FB's typical intraday option activity of about 242,000 total contracts. Most active was the near-the-money (and soon-to-expire) June 28 call, where more than 15,000 contracts traded on open interest of 20,536.


After a perfunctory look at the charts, it's possible that speculators have been turned off by the stock's suddenly lifeless price action. Steep losses in FB shares sparked headlines for the first several days after the IPO, but the security has spent the past week drifting slowly between the $25 and $28 levels. Since option-buying strategies require a fast, aggressive move in the right direction to profit, this muted movement of late may be turning off some potential traders.


30-Minute Intraday Chart of Facebook (FB) from May 18, 2012 through June 11, 2012

In Monday's session, FB tried to show a little life, gaining as much as 3.6% in early afternoon trading before being rejected by the high end of its recent trading range. The stock closed down less than 1% to $27.01.


At the time of this writing, FB is not held in any Schaeffer's newsletter services.


SchaeffersResearch.com provides financial news and commentary throughout the trading day, plus stock screeners, filters, and other tools to give stock and option investors an edge.

Tags: FBIPO
2Comments
Jun 12, 2012 9:31AM
avatar
bwaaaah.   trading is gambling. 
Jun 12, 2012 10:10AM
avatar
Not all trading is gambling... playing with facebook options is gambling...There is a better, safer, more consistent way to invest in options. http://www.strategic-options-trading.com/options-trading-Basics.html
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