Whiting Petroleum (WLL) has been on a wild ride Thursday morning, climbing to $48.67 on speculation Statoil is interested in the company, but then falling back to $43.08 (+1.04) on reports Statoil has denied the speculation (Link to further details). Volume in WLL is approaching 11 million shares and significantly greater than the normal activity for midday, which is slightly more than 500K. Meanwhile, 21,000 calls and 3,700 puts traded on the Denver, CO oil and gas company. The top trade is a 1000-lot of Dec 45 calls at $2 even even and looks like an opening call write. Nov 49 calls are the most actives, with 3,200 traded and seems to include a mix of buying and selling. Mar 50, Nov 55, Dec 50, Nov 50, Jan 47.5 and Dec 49 calls on WLL are also seeing interest. While some buyers might be reacting to the speculation, others might be selling premium amid the increasing implied volatility. 30-day ATM vols in WLL options are up 21.5 percent to 50.5 and in the 90th percentile of the 52-week range. The high is 64.5 on 11/9 of last year.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Frederic Ruffy is a well-known trader, writer, and strategist who has spent years educating investors and creating intelligent, insightful, unbiased market observations that are frequently cited by the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications. As senior analyst, Fred provides frequent and regular notes and daily updates for activity of interest.