Debt Stalemate: S&P 500 Stocks With Bearish Options Sentiment

(List compiled by Becca Lipman. Options Data sourced from Schaeffer’s, all other data sourced from Finviz.)

It seems that no matter which way this debt crisis turns out, America’s in a financial mess. The real question is wether we’ll be facing more trouble in the short or long term…

USA’s less-than optimistic future is best summed up by Associated Press authors Paul Wiseman and Chistopher S. Rugaber:

“Failing to raise the federal borrowing limit would force the government to slash spending immediately and possibly cause a default, frightening financial markets and sending interest rates up.

“If Washington reaches a deal and does raise the limit, it will probably include long-term spending cuts. The cuts would withdraw government stimulus at a time of weak economic growth and damage the already feeble recovery, at least in the short term.”

Thus far economy has been making a slow and staggering recovery since the recession-turned-economic-slowdown. Spending cuts, some speculate, will very likely hinder than progress even further, possibly even reversing it and throwing the economy back into a recession. 

In light of this we wanted to get a current gauge of investor sentiment. To do so, we list below the S&P 500 stocks with the biggest increase in their Put/Call ratios over the last two weeks (i.e. bearish options sentiment).

Use the list and data below as a starting point for your own analysis. 

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List sorted by Put/call ratio. 

1. Robert Half International Inc. (RHI): Staffing & Outsourcing Services Industry. Market cap of $4.02B. Current price at $26.95. Current Put/Call ratio at 6.64 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.8. This implies a 730.00% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.78% (equivalent to 7.8 days of average volume). It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.71% over the last week.

2. Unum Group (UNM): Accident & Health Insurance Industry. Market cap of $7.51B. Current price at $24.24. Current Put/Call ratio at 3.56 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.62. This implies a 474.19% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock has gained 8.54% over the last year.

3. Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM): REIT Industry. Market cap of $7.88B. Current price at $18.85. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.66 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.3. This implies a 453.33% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.26% over the last week.

4. DeVry Inc. (DV): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $4.27B. Current price at $61.06. Current Put/Call ratio at 0.99 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.39. This implies a 153.85% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.51), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.83% over the last week.

5. Clorox Corporation (CLX): Housewares & Accessories Industry. Market cap of $9.55B. Current price at $70.84. Current Put/Call ratio at 0.97 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.43. This implies a 125.58% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock has gained 14.01% over the last year.

6. Parker Hannifin Corporation (PH): Industrial Equipment & Components Industry. Market cap of $12.81B. Current price at $77.73. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.15 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.52. This implies a 121.15% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -10.18% below its SMA20, -10.33% below its SMA50, and -10.13% below its SMA200. It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.64% over the last week.

7. The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW): General Building Materials Industry. Market cap of $8.20B. Current price at $76.65. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.67 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.82. This implies a 103.66% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.7% (equivalent to 5.26 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -7.06% below its SMA20, -7.88% below its SMA50, and -5.39% below its SMA200. The stock has gained 13.7% over the last year.

8. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE): Beverages Industry. Market cap of $9.14B. Current price at $28.21. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.04 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.55. This implies a 89.09% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.73% over the last week.

9. Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY): REIT Industry. Market cap of $10.77B. Current price at $19.77. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.69 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 0.91. This implies a 85.71% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.05% (equivalent to 5.37 days of average volume). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -8.43% below its SMA20, -6.83% below its SMA50, and -5.37% below its SMA200. It’s been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.87% over the last week.

10. Hasbro Inc. (HAS): Toys & Games Industry. Market cap of $5.39B. Current price at $39.21. Current Put/Call ratio at 1.85 vs. previous Put/Call ratio at 1.04. This implies a 77.88% change over the last 10 trading days (from 7/18 – 7/29). Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up–dividend yield at 3.03%, current ratio at 2.9, and quick ratio at 2.29. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading -5.6% below its SMA20, -9.19% below its SMA50, and -13.07% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.13%.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to see how analyst ratings have changed for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


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