Options Bulls Enjoying Crypto Stock Volatility

Options are affordably priced at the moment, too

Deputy Editor
Mar 25, 2024 at 1:11 PM
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Crypto-adjacent stocks are flying high today, after Bitcoin (BTC) earlier cleared the $70,000 mark. As a result, Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) is enjoying a modest midday lead, last seen 2.8% higher to trade at $21.45.

In the enigmatic cryptocurrency sector, Marathon Digital stock is underperforming the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), the former down 10.3% in 2024 and the latter up 55.3% in the same timeframe. Year over year, however, MARA is up 170.6% while BITO is up 85.4% over the last 12 months.

MARA Chart March 25024

The equity is popular with options traders, especially those of the bullish persuasion, despite BTC's volatility. Marathon Digital popped up on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of stocks that attracted the highest weekly options volume in the last two weeks. Per White's data, 2,184,958 calls and 1,002,966 puts were exchanged over this 10-day period, with the most popular contract being the March 21.50 call.

MAO Chart March 25024

While short interest is unraveling -- down 15.6% over the last month -- the 39.61 million shares sold short still represent 154% of MARA's total available float. Those looking to speculate on Marathon Digital stock's next move can do so for cheap with options. This is per the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 118% that ranks higher than 29% of annual readings. The security tends to outperform volatility expectations, too, per its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) tally of 81 out of 100. 


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