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Do Options Traders Know Something About Marathon Oil (MRO) Stock We Don't?

Zacks Equity Research
Wall Street finished in the green reversing its five-day negative trend on Thursday following news that United States and China have ramped up their efforts to resolve lingering trade disputes

Investors in Marathon Oil Corporation MRO need to pay close attention to the stock based on moves in the options market lately. That is because the Nov 9, 2018 $70.00 Call had some of the highest implied volatility of all equity options today.

What is Implied Volatility?

Implied volatility shows how much movement the market is expecting in the future. Options with high levels of implied volatility suggest that investors in the underlying stocks are expecting a big move in one direction or the other. It could also mean there is an event coming up soon that may cause a big rally or a huge sell off. However, implied volatility is only one piece of the puzzle when putting together an options trading strategy.

What do the Analysts Think?

Clearly, options traders are pricing in a big move for Marathon Oil shares, but what is the fundamental picture for the company? Currently, Marathon Oil is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) in the Oil and Gas - Integrated - United States that ranks in the Top 9% of our Zacks Industry Rank. Over the last 30 days, three analysts have increased their earnings estimates for the current quarter, while five have dropped estimates. The net effect has taken our Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter from 21 cents per share to 20 cents in that period.

Given the way analysts feel about Marathon Oil right now, this huge implied volatility could mean there’s a trade developing. Often times, options traders look for options with high levels of implied volatility to sell premium. This is a strategy many seasoned traders use because it captures decay. At expiration, the hope for these traders is that the underlying stock does not move as much as originally expected.

Looking to Trade Options?

Each week, our very own Dave Bartosiak gives his top options trades. Check out his recent live analysis and options trade for NFLX earnings report completely free. See it here: Bartosiak: Trading Netflix's (NFLX) Earnings with Options or check out the embedded video below for more details:


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