Lowe’s unveiled a new $15 billion share buyback program while Southwest reinstated its quarterly dividend amid strong demand
Lowe’s Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) and Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) issued big corporate updates this morning. Specifically, the home improvement retailer unveiled a new $15 billion share buyback program, and stuck to its 2022 sales and profit outlook. Meanwhile, the airline became the first major name within that sector to reinstate its quarterly dividend, amid strong travel demand following the Covid-19 pandemic.
LOW Looks to Snap Losing Streak
Today’s update is generating tailwinds for Lowe’s stock, which was last seen up 2.2% at $207.02, and pacing to snap a three-day losing streak. The 200-day moving average contained yesterday’s bear gap, but longer term, LOW has failed to conquer a ceiling at the $220 level. Year-to-date, the security has shed 21.4%.
At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock’s 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.52 sits in the 88th percentile of its annual range. This indicates long puts have been getting picked up at a faster-than-usual clip.
Options Bears Blast LUV
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines stock is down 4.5% to trade at $37.89, slipping below support at its 20-day trendline for the first time since mid-October. This could mark the security’s third loss in four sessions, and its biggest single-day percentage dip since Sept. 16. Over the last 12 months, LUV has shed 15.6%.
Options bears are targeting the equity today. So far, 3,378 puts have crossed the tape, or double the average intraday volume. Most popular is the 12/9 38-strike put, where new positions are being opened.