Options Traders Bet on Tighter Trading Ranges as Earnings Loom

Rising volatility with U.S. stocks near record highs has created opportunities for options investors.

“Fear of Missing Out” trades have been accelerating over the past few weeks, Susquehanna derivatives strategists Chris Murphy and Chris Jacobson said in recent notes to clients. The strategy plays on expectations for shares to trade in a range and uses the sale of downside puts to finance the purchase of call spreads.

Some investors in high-profile names such as Tesla Inc., Shopify Inc. and PG&E Corp. have been using this strategy. While the trades implies positive sentiment, these “bullish collar trades” ultimately limit an investor’s potential gain if shares rally beyond the higher strike price, Susquehanna said. The put position also leaves them at risk of buying more stock if the share price declines.

Options Traders Bet on Tighter Trading Ranges as Earnings Loom

JPMorgan derivatives strategist Shawn Quigg recently recommended that clients implement similar strategies, including call spreads in Walmart Inc. and Netflix Inc. along with call-spread collars in Wynn Resorts Ltd. Each recommendation focused around a specific catalyst to express a bullish view but all three capped the potential for gains.

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