Why one bear is slapping a collar on oil
David Russell | firstname.lastname@example.org
optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected a bearish strategy on the U.S. Oil Fund, which is up 11 percent in the last month. A trader bought 2,500 November 32 puts for $1.05 and sold an equal number of November 39 calls for $0.90. Volume was more than 8 times open interest at each strike, so this is a new position.
The trade cost $0.15 and is leveraged to downside in the exchange-traded fund. The position will make money on the puts if the USO drops to $32 or lower, but the short calls will obligate the trader to sell shares if it goes above $39. He or she probably owns the fund and is using the options as a hedge in a strategy known as a collar.
The USO is up 0.89 percent to $35.22. It peaked at $35.57 earlier in the session after a bullish weekly inventories report but then quickly retreated. The fund also seems to be hitting resistance at its 100-day moving average, which could be leading some chart watchers to think that it's due for a pullback.