Apache Stock Takes Out 200-Day After Oil Discovery

Short interest recently shot up on APA shares

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:36 AM

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) is one of the best stocks today thanks to what's being described as a "major oil discovery" off the coast of the South American country Suriname. This has the shares of APA rising 16.5% to $29.86, putting them above the 200-day moving average, which had been resistance on multiple occasions over the past year.

What's more, the equity is testing the $30 level, which switched from support to a stiff ceiling earlier in the year. Maybe more importantly, this is also the site of the stock's year-over-year breakeven level.

BofA-Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, just came in with an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" and lifted its price target to $36 from $28. There's room for more bullish analyst attention in the near term, as well, since 14 of the 17 brokerage firms in coverage sport "hold" or worse recommendations.

In the options pits, open interest among short-term speculators is put-heavy at the moment -- a rare setup. This is according to the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.04 that ranks in the 86th annual percentile. Pessimism also appears to be building among short sellers, where short interest increased by 21.5% in just the last reporting period.

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