Apple Disappointment Looming? ETF Options May Be A Sign
In just a matter of minutes of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the largest U.S. company by market value, will report earnings and it's fair to say traders, fund managers and retail investors are eagerly awaiting another blowout quarter from the iPad and iPhone maker.
As Benzinga reported earlier, the Apple report will have a meaningful impact on several major ETFs. And options activity in some ETFs may be giving clues as to what lurks after the bell.
In an interview with Benzinga, Street One Financial President Scott Freeze notes the Apple put/call ratio was hovering around 0.63 earlier this afternoon and that the Apple May 600 calls are the third most active contract today. Freeze also noted five of the 10 most active call contracts today are in Apple.
"We're seeing a lot of covered call writing at inflated prices reaping in premium that would be realized as long as Apple doesn't go up 10% in three weeks," Freeze told Benzinga.
Regarding ETFs, the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLK), which features an 18.55% allocation to Apple, is home to "significant put volume at 1150 puts and 559 calls traded for a 2.06 put/call ratio," Freeze said. (Note: That data is from earlier this afternoon.)
Freeze said options activity in the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ), the Nasdaq 100 tracking ETF and home to a19.1% Apple weight, has been "in line with XLK." He sees support for XLK at $28.50 and resistance at $29.40. For QQQ, Freeze says support is $64.50 and resistance is $65.
Freeze did make a bold proclamation that Apple bears and put buyers will like: "Rumor is that Apple will beat the top line number but disappoint in Mac sales, iPad sales, iPhone sales, vendor rebates and overseas sales," he said.
Agree or disagree, it's worth noting Apple has tumbled since our April 4 interview with Freeze when he noted ETFs such as QQQ and XLK are weighted too heavily to Apple, making those funds vulnerable to downside in the tech titan.
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