Market: Crude oil, $CL_F, $QM_F
Buy or Sell?: Option values are inflated due to Middle East Tensions, sell strangles
Range: Crude oil prices face resistance near $96 and again near $100, support near $92 and $87. We expect prices to remain range bound
Crude oil traders are currently facing bearish supply fundamentals, but have recently been reminded that continued supply isn't necessary a constant nor a guarantee. Fresh tensions in the Middle East are a start reminder to the market that short-term supply disruptions are possible at any time and can have a significant (albeit temporary) impact on prices. As a result of the uncertainty, and speculation over the Algerian events becoming a problem to the markets, option values have seen increased in implied volatility. In our opinion, this creates an ideal environment for option selling.
Specifically, we like the idea of selling the April $105 call and the $85 put in crude oil. The net premium collected should be about $1.40, or $1,400. This trade has 58 days to expiration, and if held the entire time faces a profit zone between $106.40 and $83.60. In other words, as long as the market is between these $106.40 and $83.60 at expiration, the trader makes something. The maximum profit of $1,400 before commissions and fees occurs at expiration if the market is trading between the strike prices of $105 and $85 (noted in blue on the chart). In our view, this provides traders with a high probability opportunity...but of course there are never any guarantees.
As always, there is unlimited risk in option selling.
Futures, Options, Integrity
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