One Oil Stock Bucking the Broad Market Crash

COG is higher while the rest of energy stocks crash

Managing Editor
Mar 9, 2020 at 1:28 PM
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If the coronavirus outbreak was the match, then OPEC-fueled price war is the kerosene soaked rag that sparked today's stock market crash. As oil prices plummet and send the world economies into disarray, energy stocks Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) are in focus. Options traders are responding in kind as well. 

First up is Exxon Mobil, last seen down 9.1% today at $43.34, and earlier hitting a 16-year low of $40.80. XOM has now shed 36.6% in 2020, and hasn't closed north of its 10-day moving average since Jan. 7. 

Puts are picking up in popularity today, with volume running at 1.5 times the average intraday amount. The March 42.50 put is the most popular, and there are also new positions being opened at the April 40 put. But heading into today, call options were getting more attention. At the the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 1.48 calls have been bought for every put during the past 10 days.

Turning to CVX -- down 13.8% to trade at $82.16 today and earlier touching a four-year low of $80.36 -- put volume is booming as well. Already 8,000 puts have changed hands today, 1.6 times the average intraday amount with volume pacing for the 96th percentile of its annual range. New positions are being opened at the March 65 put, while the weekly 3/13 75-strike put is also popular today.

And last but not least we have Cabot Oil & Gas, which is somehow up 3.4% to trade at $16.58 after surging to a four-month high of $19.15 earlier today. The stock pared some of these early morning gains and is once again staring up at its year-to-date breakeven level. 

In Cabot's options pits, calls are preferred today, with a 3,310 calls across the tape so far doubling the intraday average. The July 17 call is the most popular, followed by the April 21 call. This suggests that these traders are eyeing more upside for COG in the coming months. 


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