by Mark DeCambre
Even as the stock market trades in record-setting territory despite the economy being in the throes of a viral pandemic, Wall Street bets for further gains are around their highest levels since the dot-com bubble, according to research from Bespoke Investment Group.
Options bets that the S&P 500 will extend its run-up in months to come have roughly doubled, far exceeding trading in securities that would be used to bet that a decline in stock values was imminent.
Call options give holders the right but not the obligation to buy a certain number of shares (100 per option contract) at a certain price (strike price) by a certain date (expiration date).
Calls are viewed as bullish bets on an asset, as opposed to put options, and Bespoke indicates that appetite for calls, particularly among individual investors, has boomed.