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GameStop stock options imply tamer than usual price reaction to earnings

Shares of GameStop Corp. fell 1.3% in afternoon trading Wednesday, as investors braced for the videogame and consumer electronics retailer’s fiscal third-quarter results due out after the closing bell. The FactSet consensus is for a per-share loss of 52 cents and sales of $1.19 billion. The stock edged 0.2% higher on the day after the previous quarterly report, but fell the day after 11 of the 12 reports before that. An options strategy known as a straddle is priced for a one-day post-earnings move of $21.01 in either direction on Thursday, or nearly 19% narrower than the average move after the past 12 quarters, according to data provided by Option Research & Technology Services (ORATS) Principal Matt Amberson. A straddle is a pure volatility play that involves the simultaneous purchase bullish (calls) and bearish (puts) at-the-money options expiring at the the end of the week. Based on the current stock price of $175.50, options pricing suggest straddle buyers won’t make money unless the stock moves above $$196.51 or below $154.49 on Thursday. The stock has dropped 11.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.9%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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