An escalating trade war this month has sent stocks into overdrive with triple-digit daily moves by the Dow Jones Industrial Average becoming the norm.
Pressure on Wall Street also brings with it opportunity in the options market, said Stephen Mathai-Davis, chief investment officer at analytics firm Quantamize. One name has grabbed his attention.
“This is our highest conviction idea. It’s Google,” Mathai-Davis told CNBC’s “Trading Nation ” on Wednesday. “There’s been a general sell-off across the market and that means a lot of beta stocks were selling off, a lot of our own names are selling off. So that’s a great opportunity to get long some interesting names.”
Beta, a measure of volatility, categorizes stocks by how much they move more or less than the broader market. While Alphabet shares trade above 1 relative to the market, meaning that they are more volatile than average, they are considerably less volatile than other stocks in the tech sector such as Tesla and Advanced Micro Devices.
“In the case of Google, what we like is a call spread collar,” said Mathai-Davis. “That’s merely buying a call spread and funding that by selling an out-of-the-money put. ... We think you can do that simply because implied volatility levels are so expensive, and by putting that trade on, you’re putting it on for pennies with great upside.”
Other stocks to buy long after a sharp sell-off include Dow stocks Microsoft, Disney and McDonald’s, said Mathai-Davis. In the case of Disney, for example, he said implied volatility is low so an out-of-the-money call spread is appropriate.
“You can get long the stock, which is one of my favorite media stocks, by buying an out-of-the-money call and selling a further out-of-the-money call. In terms of the time periods we’re looking at, we’re looking at give or take one month for Walt Disney,” he said.
Alphabet and Disney have both been swept up in the broader market sell-off this month. As the S&P 500 has sunk nearly 2%, Alphabet and Disney have fallen less than 1%.