Big Oil Bulls Turn to Occidental

By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonster

Occidental Petroleum ( OXY) bounced Tuesday, and the Big Oil bulls jumped on board.

OptionMonster's monitoring systems detected unusual activity in the May 80 calls, with large purchases occurring for $3.15. Volume continued to build throughout the session and ended Tuesday at 10,899 contracts, more than twice the previous open interest in the strike, indicating that these are new positions.

Calls lock in the price where investors can buy shares in the Los Angeles energy giant, providing significant leverage in the event of a rally. That's exactly what happened Tuesday because Occidental's stock inched higher after the options hit, and those calls appreciated by more than 10% to $3.50.

Occidental shares ended the session up 2.19% to $80.68. The stock has been bouncing in a range for the last year and is now attempting to make a higher low than the level where it based in January.

Total option volume was five times greater than average in the company Tuesday. Calls outnumbered puts by a bullish 4-to-1 ratio.

Russell has no positions in OXY
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.