Rumors have been swirling all week that scandal-tainted futures brokerage Refco ( RFXCQ), which filed for bankruptcy last week, has been liquidating positions. In particular, speculation is rampant that the slide in both oil and oil stocks this week reflected selling by Refco, its clients, or both. "I don't doubt that for a moment," says Dennis Gartman, editor of The Gartman Letter. "I've been talking to friends that work at Refco and some with positions at Refco, and I know for certain that there's a lot of people trying to liquidate, to close their positions and to get cash as fast as they can." Refco roiled markets on Oct. 10 after disclosing stunning news that former CEO Phil Bennett owed the company nearly half a billion dollars and that the firm's financial statements could not be relied upon. It filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 17 after agreeing to sell its futures trading operations to J.C. Flowers & Co. Meanwhile, Friday brings the market expiration of options, a time when a lot of positions need to be squared. While stock prices saw wild moves all week, energy shares and crude oil were among the most downwardly volatile. The Amex Oil Index slid 7% from Monday's close through Thursday, with selling accelerating ahead of options expirations on Friday. Some of the oil sector's biggest names, such as Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Chevron ( CVX) and Occidental Petroleum ( OXY), fell more than 6% over the three trading days. Things improved Friday, however, with the Amex Oil Index lately up 2%. The price of crude has also been sliding since Monday. It went from $64.36 at Monday's close to below $60 Friday (the front-month contract moved to December Friday morning). Crude was recently down 52 cents at $59.50, representing a 7.5% slide from Monday's close. It's hard to know for sure how much, if any, of the downward move was caused by Refco-related selling, given that crude oil and other energy prices had already weakened noticeably in recent weeks. The broad move was attributed to the expected course of Hurricane Wilma veering away from key energy operations on the Gulf Coast, and to indications of rising energy inventories.