Thursday, July 1, 2010

UPDATED: Sometimes the Crowd is Right: Relatively Heavy Call Activity in Anadarko Petroleum (APC)

UPDATE: Another reader emails that the strangle is more bearish because the seller has more leeway to the downside, over 45% than the upside 34%, before the trade loses money.
Good points but for differences of opinion see the post above.
Original post:
In pre-market action stock is trading up $0.68 at $36.77.
Yesterday we posted "Bullish Options Plays in Anadarko Petroleum (APC)" and I received a couple emails that implied I had lost my marbles.
We answer all mail.
One writer asked if I had seen Talking Points Memo's "Exclusive: BP Bills Anadarko $272 Million In Gulf Spill Response".
Yes I had. I believe it was at Clusterstock.
Another asked "What about this Barron's story: BP: WSJ on More Bad Decisions, But FT Points at Anadarko"
Yes indeedy.

The thing is, if you go to that bullish option plays story, it's a short strangle.
Sell the puts/sell the calls. A bet on the stock being stuck between the strikes. I called it bullish because the trader had to have a friendly prime to make sure they have the credit available to them should the stock get put and they now are the proud owner of 500,000 APC's.
Here's Schaeffer's Research morning line up, which of these is not like the others?: