First they nibbled but then the bulls started chomping on Best Buy yesterday, betting that the electronics chain will fight its way back from a major selloff last month.
For the second time in three sessions, Best Buy lit up OptionMonster's tracking systems with call buying yesterday. The activity was scattered across several strikes, but most of it was focused on front-month, near-the-money contracts. That means traders are looking for a rally in the next 2-1/2 weeks.
The stock ended the session up 1.85 percent at $35.70 after touching $36.33 at one point in the afternoon. That was its highest price since Dec. 13, when it traded for more than $40.
The next morning, however, the company reported a terrible quarter, with earnings and guidance below forecasts. Management apparently misjudged consumer demand by loading up on televisions rather than tablet computers, which left the chain with a glut of unsold inventory.
The shares immediately traded lower by $5 on that news until basing out around $33.40, but they have been pushing higher since. Investors often look for stocks to rebound from such big one-day moves, at least partly filling the gaps on charts.
One potential catalyst could occur later this week when BBY reports December same-store sales on Friday.
Yesterday's call buying occurred mainly in the January 36, 37, and 38 strikes. Overall option volume was 34 times greater than average, with calls accounting for more than 80 percent of the volume, according to the Heat Seeker.
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David Russell is a reporter and writer for OptionMonster. He does not have a position in BBY.