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January 24, 2013  Thu 11:44 AM CT

DVN: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
A trader is expecting range-bound trading in Devon Energy as its shares remain near their 52-week lows.

optionMONSTER systems show that 4,000 March 55 calls were sold for the bid price of $1.42 today. The volume was far above the strike's previous open interest of 166 contracts, so this is clearly a new position.

Two minutes after the calls were sold, a block of 180,000 DVN shares traded for $54.3444. The combination of stock and options creates an overall strategy that is delta-neutral, looking for a drop in volatility rather than a specific direction in the share price. (See our Education section)

DVN is off 0.2 percent at $54.18 this afternoon. The oil and natural-gas company was trading above $75 last March and above $63 in October, but it hit a low under $51 on the last day of 2012.
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Sweet Spot Exceptions

As discussed last week, when using the Stock Replacement Strategy to replace a stock position to trade direction, we want to use an option that has very similar characteristics to the stock. We talked about using the deep in-the-money, 80 to 85 delta option that is similar in the Greeks and has relatively little extrinsic value which tends to work against us in stock directional trading.

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