How volatility trader is playing Williams
Chris McKhann | firstname.lastname@example.org
optionMONSTER systems show that 22,000 WMB options have changed hands already today, about twice the daily average in the last month. Most of that action is in one combination trade.
Blocks of 4,500 traded in the November 36 calls and 29 puts for $0.130 and $0.83 respectively, both apparently sold. A little more than an hour later, blocks of 4,700 went for $0.119 and $0.84 traded at the same strikes, also sold. Total volume was more than 10,000 contracts in each, far above previous open interest below 1,000 and therefore new activity.
This appears to be a short-strangle position, a bet that volatility will be lower going forward or at least that it will be lower than what is implied by the option prices. (See our Education section)
WMB trades at $33.48, up 0.51 percent this afternoon. Friday's close was just a tick above levels from mid-January, the stock's second lowest of 2013. Shares were up above $38 at 52-week highs in mid-April.