SLB – Schlumberger Ltd. – Shares of the oil services company are down 6.15% to $52.70 in the first half of the trading day perhaps following news, Ed Towns, the House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman, said he will expand his investigation into the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. According to one news report, Towns requested documents from Schlumberger at the end of last week and expects to receive a report detailing the firm’s “involvement at the well, documentation of inspections, communication with the Minerals Management Agency and any proposal to shut down the well.” This news is weighing heavily on the stock along with Thursday’s announcement by President Obama there is to be a 6 month moratorium on new offshore drilling permits. Bearish options players flooded the July contract with pessimism, selling call options and buying puts. Traders expecting shares of the underlying stock to head lower in the next couple of months purchased roughly 2,000 puts at the July $50 strike for an average premium of $2.44 apiece. Put buyers are prepared to make money should Schlumberger’s shares decline another 9.75% to breach the average breakeven price to the downside at $47.56 by July expiration. The breakeven price on the puts is a scant $0.27 greater than the current 52-week low on SLB of $47.29. Other bearish traders sold 2,700 calls at the July $57.5 strike to receive an average premium of $2.33 per contract. Call sellers keep the full premium pocketed on the transaction as long as Schlumberger’s shares do not exceed $57.50 ahead of expiration day. Options implied volatility on the stock is up 19.8% to 56.38% as of 11:22 am (ET).
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Andrew Wilkinson is the senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, where he provides daily commentary and analysis on U.S. equity options trading throughout the trading day. Andrew provides webinars designed to explain option-related trading scenarios covering futures, fixed income, forex and equities.
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