Electric truck maker Nikola (NKLA) is enjoying some tailwinds, after announcing it delivered the first Nikola Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) pilot trucks to a port trucking company in California. In addition, the company noted on Twitter (TWTR) more deliveries are to come. As a result, the shares broke through overhead pressure at the 20-day moving average, which had been in place since mid-November. The security has had a rough go on the charts this year, briefly breaching a floor at the $9 level to log a Dec. 17 all-time low of $8.86. Year-to-date, NKLA is down 27.8%.
The brokerage bunch is still skeptical of Nikola stock. Of the nine analysts in question, seven carry a tepid “hold” rating, while two say “strong buy.” Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $17.44 is a substantial 58.1% premium to the security’s current perch.
Short sellers have been hitting the exits in droves, but bears are still in control. Short interest fell 12.5% over the last two reporting periods, yet the 51.22 million shares sold short make up 23.3% of the stock’s available float, or nearly one week’s worth of pent-up buying power.
Options traders are pling on NKLA after today’s update. So far, 190,000 calls and 95,000 puts have crossed the tape, which is 15 times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the expiring 12/23 11-strike call, followed by the January 2022 10-strike put, with new positions being opened at both.
Now could be a good time to weigh in on the equity’s next move with options. Nikola stock\’s Schaeffer\’s Volatility Index (SVI) of 91% sits higher than just 16% of readings from the past year. This suggests options traders are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment.