Today’s tickers: COP, HD & HCA
COP - ConocoPhillips Company – Options on ConocoPhillips are among the most active by volume on Wednesday, with shares in the name down 0.90% on the session to stand at $61.12 as of 12:05 p.m. ET, just hours ahead of the global energy company’s fourth-quarter earnings report after the closing bell. The largest transaction in COP options this morning was the purchase of an Aug. $47.5/$57.5 put spread, established at a net premium outlay of $1.80 per contract. Time and sales data shows blocks of 48,700 puts trading as part of a spread today, with overall volume at each strike topping 50,000 contracts. The bearish position makes money, or provides downside protection, if shares in COP drop 9.0% from the current price of $61.12 to trade below the effective breakeven point at $55.70. Maximum potential profits of $8.20 per contract are available on the spread should ConocoPhillips’ shares slump 22% to settle at a new 52-week low of $47.50 at August expiration. Shares in COP last traded below $47.50 back in February 2010.
HD - Home Depot, Inc. – Bullish options activity on the home improvement retailer this morning looks for shares in Home Depot to improve during the next couple of months. The stock today trades up 0.10% to stand at $67.27 as of 10:45 a.m. ET, after the shares earlier this week rallied to a new 52-week high of $68.15. The heaviest trading traffic in HD options is at the Mar. $65 strike, where upwards of 3,300 in-the-money calls changed hands versus open interest of 1,104 contracts. It looks like most of the call options were purchased by one trader for an average premium of $3.05 apiece during the first 10 minutes of the trading day. The strategist may profit at expiration in March should shares in Home Depot rally X% over the current price of $67.27 to top the average breakeven point at $68.05. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on February 26th.…
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