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) -- At least one investor expressed moderate bullishness during morning trading in


(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report

less than a week after the company reported better-than-expected earnings.

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We saw an investor sell the April/January 2011 30 put spread for around $2 per spread. So far on the day, the April 30 puts have dropped 37 cents to around $2.60, and the January 2011 30 puts are currently trading down 30 cents to around $4.65. The HAL put-spread seller sold the January strike puts to finance the April 30 put purchase 5,000 times.

Current open interest of the April 30 puts is 564 contracts and the January 2011 30 puts are home to open interest of 1,400 contracts, indicating that today's volume consisted of investors trading to open.

HAL shares have rallied more than 60% since reaching a recent low of around $18 in July. The company climbed to a new 52-week high yesterday, which could be why we're seeing at least one investor express moderate bullishness instead of selling puts or buying calls outright in HAL.

Heavy put-spread selling action does not necessarily mean investors should run out and buy HAL shares. HAL is currently trading up 90 cents, or 3%, to $31.70, but keep in mind that at least one investor is calling for further upside in the intermediate-to-long term after the company released its earnings on Oct. 16.

-- Written by Jud Pyle in Chicago

At the time of publication, Pyle did not have any positions in the equity mentioned. Jud Pyle, CFA, is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network. Pyle started his career in finance in 1994 as a derivative analyst with SBC Warburg. After four years with Warburg, Pyle joined PEAK6 Investments, L.P., in 1998 as an equity options trader and as chief risk officer. A native of Minneapolis, Pyle received his bachelor's degree in economics and history from Colgate University in 1994. As a trader, Pyle traded on average over 5,000 contracts per day, and over 1.2 million contracts per year. He also built the stock group for all PEAK6 Investments, L.P. hedging, which currently trades on average over 5 million shares per day, and over 1 billion shares per year. Further, from 2004-06, he managed the trading and risk management for PEAK6 Investments L.P.'s lead market-maker operation on the former PCX exchange, which traded more than 10,000 contracts per day. Pyle is the "Mad About Options" resident expert. He is also a regular contributor to "Options Physics."