Options Traders Prep For Big Move In Alcoa's Stock After Earnings

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

The options market is preparing for much bigger-than-average move in Alcoa Inc.'s stock after the aluminum company kicks off the second-quarter earnings reporting season after Wednesday's close. An options strategy known as a straddle, which involves the simultaneous buying of bullish (call) and bearish (put) options at current prices, was implying a one-day, post-earnings move of about 5.8% in either direction, according to FactSet. That's about double the average move of 2.99%, and median move of 2.9%, on the day after the past 20 earnings reports. The stock made a bigger move than the straddle currently implies just once during the 20-quarter period, when it jumped 6.2% on April 11, 2012 after Alcoa Q1 2012 results were reported. Ahead of Wednesday’s results, the stock slid 3.9% in afternoon trade, putting it track to close at the lowest level since Jan. 15, 2014. The stock has tumbled 33% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained less than 0.1%.

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