Steel Stock Options Players are Targeting

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United States Steel shared its third-quarter forecast last week

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) stock has been a subject of interest of late. Last week on Sept. 15, the company shared guidance for the third quarter of 2022. The firm said it expects adjusted EBITDA to come in at roughly $825 million, and its adjusted net earnings per diluted share to come in between $1.90 and $1.95. Today, Amalgated Bank announced it reduced its stake in United States Steel by 6.3% during the first quarter. Despite all these updates, X has remained relatively stable since a drop back towards the $20 mark, and was last seen up 2.1% at $20.56. The stock was rejected by a recent consolidation level near $26, while additional pressure at the 200-day moving average has also acted as a ceiling since late May. 

While X does appear to be middling on the charts, it’s been extremely popular among options players of late. In fact, the equity just showed up on Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White’s list of S&P 400 (IDX) members with the highest option volume over the past two weeks. During this time period, 302,156 calls and 215,544 puts were exchanged. The most popular position being the September 20 put, followed by the 25 call in the same series. 

While calls remain the more popular option, there’s been an unusually healthy appetite for puts lately. The security sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) that stands higher than 80% of readings from the past year. 

Short-term options traders, meanwhile, remain incredibly call-biased. This is per the equity’s Schaeffer’s put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.85, which sits in the low 8th percentile of its 12-month range. 

Elsewhere, short sellers are hitting the exits, dropping 6.9% in the past two reporting periods. There’s still plenty of pessimism to be unwound, though, as the 32.37 million shares sold short make up 13.8% of the stock’s available float.