Tesla’s about to make a record high, and here’s how I’m cashing in: Trader

Tesla is set for a breakout, at least according to one trader who sees another rally in the charts for the electric automaker.

Looking at a long-term chart of Tesla, Todd Gordon of TradingAnalysis.com sees a range that "has been in play since 2014," where the company has traded between the $260s and $280. Over the past month or so, however, the stock saw a "double bottom" near $240, from which it bounced, heading back toward $280, the top of Tesla's trading range over the past few years.

The recent move has Gordon believing that a breakout will finally happen for Tesla.

"We look to be breaking a range in Tesla, and it looks like with this next leg up in the bull market, Tesla can get us done," he said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

To determine what levels he will use to trade Tesla, Gordon looked at the standard deviation in price for the stock going out into May. "Options markets are pricing a 68 percent chance that Tesla will be between $317 and $240 at the expiration of the [May options] we're looking at," he said. Based on Gordon's belief that Tesla will break out beyond the $280 high, the trader is looking for Tesla to rally beyond $300.

In other words, the trader sees Tesla making all-time highs.

As a result, Gordon is looking to buy the May 300-strike calls and sell the May 305-strike calls for $1.33 per share, or $133 per options contract. This means that Gordon thinks Tesla could close above $305 on May 19 when the trade expires, a rally of about 10 percent from Wednesday's levels.

Gordon could make a maximum gain of $367 from the trade should Tesla close above $305 on May 19, although the stock only needs to close above the breakeven of $301.33 for Gordon to make money.

"If the trade doesn't play out, no problem," he said. "We're not going to have max loss of premium; we can contain some of the capital that we've outlaid and salvage some of that premium."

Tesla shares have surged by almost 30 percent in 2017.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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