This Social Media Upstart Just Got a Lot of Attention in the Options Market

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This Social Media Upstart Just Got a Lot of Attention in the Options Market

Suddenly the bulls are logging into Pinterest.

The social-media upstart had record call volume yesterday as options traders positioned for a potential move higher. The activity came after a report showed growing user traffic.

PINS’ user base rose 9 percent to 82.4 million last year, according to research firm eMarketer. That pushed the photo and craft-sharing service ahead of Snap (SNAP) for third place in the U.S., behind Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). Its lead is expected to widen through 2022.

“Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it’s made significant gains in a wide range of age groups,” eMarketer’s analyst said in the statement.

PINS surged 9.6 percent to $21.51 on the news. It managed to close above its 50-day moving average for the first time since early September. The stock also entered a bearish price gap from 2-1/2 months ago. Chart watchers could potentially view either event as a bullish signal.

Pinterest (PINS) chart with 50-day moving average and call volume.
Pinterest (PINS) chart with 50-day moving average and call volume.

Record Call Volume

The rally pushed call volume to a record 135,220. These were some of the busiest contracts:

  • About 10,000 of the January 22 calls traded, mostly for $0.40 to $0.85. Volume was triple previous open interest.
  • Over 9,500 January 21s changed hands, mostly for $0.55 to $1.05. Volume was almost twice previous open interest.
  • Almost 7,600 January 21.50 calls crossed the tape, mostly for $0.25 to $0.70. Their turnover was 11 times previous open interest.

Calls fix the price where a security can be purchased, so they can gain in value when a stock climbs. Alternately, investors can sell them against shares in their portfolios. Tuesday’s activity was a mix of buying and selling.

PINS only became a public company last April. It drifted most of last year, only to crash in November after revenue missed estimates. The next quarterly report hasn’t been scheduled yet.

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