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Momentum names that made notable moves on Thursday and could continue to do so into Friday's session include oil and gas companies Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), as well as doughnut master Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN). Here is a quick look at these stocks ahead of tomorrow's opening bell.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK)
Chesapeake's gloomier-than-expected forecast for oil production in 2014 caused the shares to plummet 6.9% today to close at $24.41, ultimately extending their week-to-date loss to more than 9%. Meanwhile, put volume skyrocketed, as approximately 79,000 of these contracts crossed the tape by the sound of the closing bell. That's more than seven times the average daily volume. Particularly, CHK's April 24 put stole the spotlight, where it appears a large chunk of contracts were bought to open (and another block was likely paired with the April 26 put as part of a spread trade). In other words, today's bearish bettors expect Chesapeake to breach the $24 mark by April options expiration, which is something the stock hasn't done since July 31.
Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL)
Halliburton was 3% higher to trade at $50.76 at Thursday's close. As such, the stock is on track to score its second consecutive weekly win, up almost 6% from Monday's intraday low of $47.95. Meanwhile, HAL has been popular among option bulls of late. In fact, the equity's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 3.83 ranks higher than all comparable readings from the last 12 months, meaning speculators have bought to open calls over puts at annual-high levels during the past 10 weeks.
Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN)
Dunkin Brands ended today's session with a 3.4% lead at $48.89, after earlier climbing to a record high of $50.41, thanks to an impressive fourth-quarter earnings report. Speculators enthusiastically piled into DNKN's options pits, snatching up more than three times the average daily amount of contracts. Much of the day's activity crossed as short-term calls, which is nothing new for Dunkin Brands. Currently, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.48 ranks just 2 percentage points from an annual low, meaning short-term option traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the stock during the past year.